LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Thursday refused to give relief to CNG station owners against action taken by Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) for closing filling stations in protest against low prices.

The stations’ owners through their counsel pleaded that the sale of the compressed natural gas on the prices fixed by Ogra was not feasible.

The counsel said the sales of CNG on new prices would cost them much. He said Ogra and SNGPL had been harassing the petitioners and forcing them to sell the gas on the ‘irrational’ prices. Petitioner’s counsel requested the court to restrain the respondents from taking coercive measures against them.

Opposing the petitions, counsel for SNGPL argued that the matter was sub judice before Supreme Court. He said that the gas prices were reduced on the order of the apex court but the CNG stations’ owners did not want to pass the benefit on to masses. He further said that the closing of the gas filling stations was an illegal and immoral act.

After hearing both sides, Justice Ayesha A Malik dismissed the stay application of the petitioners and issued notices to respondents on the main petition for Dec 17.

reply sought: The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought reply from federal government on a writ petition challenging appointment of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s Chairman.

A local lawyer moved the petition by submitting that the government did not follow the due course for the appointment of PTA chairman. The vacant post was never advertised in the media nor other eligible candidates were invited for interviews, the petitioner added.

He contended that the government adopted a ‘pick and choose policy’ and appointed Farooq Awan as the chairman of the authority.

He requested the the court to declare the impugned appointment null and void besides directing the government to make fresh appointment purely on merit.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard initial arguments and directed the government to file reply to the petition.

GPO Chowk blast:  Punjab government has filed an appeal in the Lahore High Court challenging acquittal of the alleged mastermind of GPO Chowk suicide bomb blast.

In the appeal, the government stated that concrete evidences were produced by the prosecution before the trial court but the court ignored them. It said the trial court also overlooked many laws in the order of acquittal. The government prayed the court to accept the appeal and set aside the acquittal order of the trial court.

An anti terrorism court had acquitted Shahzad Ahmad, the alleged mastermind of GPO Chowk blast occurred on Jan 10, 2008 minutes before a weekly protest rally of lawyers for the restoration of judiciary.

Ahmad (34), an alleged member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was arrested on April 26, 2008 from Lahore.