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HCJP TAKES NOTICE OF INCREASE IN PETROLEUM PRICES

Dated: 13-June-2013

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took notice of the increase in petroleum prices. The action was taken on the note of Registrar that states:-

As of this afternoon, the electronic media is continuously broadcasting the news of sudden increase in the prices of petroleum products. The consumers are being charged high/increased cost by the Filling Stations. This sudden increase in petroleum prices is allegedly attributed to a proposal in the budget speech of the Federal Minister for Finance, whereunder the GST rate has been enhanced from 16% to 17%. The budgetary proposals are merely proposals, yet to be debated/discussed and approved by the National Assembly and signed by the President. The Budget/Finance bill, usually comes into force with effect from the new financial year i.e. 1st July 2013. It appears that either the Filling Stations have caused the price spiral on their own or alternatively on the direction of the Government. It is unclear at this stage to find out as to what is the legality of the Government direction, if any, and what is the justification for premature enhancement of petroleum products. The net sufferers are the consumers which includes not just the owners of private vehicles but the operators of public transport, who in turn will pass on the escalation in prices to the commuter meaning the general public. Needless to say that the cost of transportation will lead to escalation in prices of all products. The ultimate sufferers will be the public at large. This measure is extremely harsh and unprecedented and violates Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution and in breach of fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 9, 24 of the Constitution.

The note further pointed out that Constitution Petitions No. 33 and 34 of 2005 etc regarding increase in petroleum prices are pending adjudication before this Court. Lastly, these petitions came up for hearing before the Court on 20.12.2012 and adjourned.

Taking the notice Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry passed the following order:-

        “The above note be registered as Civil Misc. Application and be fixed in the Court alongwith Constitution Petitions No. 33 and 34 of 2005 etc on 14.6.2013 before Bench No.1 at serial No. 1. Notices be issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan as well as relevant parties in the said petitions."

 
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