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PHC CJ sees embezzlement behind power crisis

Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Dost Muhammad Khan on Wednesday observed that embezzlement up to 70 percent was taking place in the provision of furnace oil to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and warned that he would be compelled to pass strict order against the corrupt officials if the misappropriation continued.

He was hearing the suo moto notice case about the frequent loadshedding. The chief justice said the decision of the high court pertaining to the dissolution of the Pakistan Electric Supply Company was being violated. He said the managing director Pepco was holding the office despite the fact that federal government had produced the notification about the dissolution of the company and the suspension of the managing director in the court.

The chief justice said the case against Pepco would be reopened and strict action taken against the officials concerned if the court was deceived about the dissolution of Pepco. He took suo moto notice of the frequent power outages in the PHC that greatly affected the judicial work. He directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General Asadullah Khan Chamkani to make the chief executive of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) appear in the court within an hour.

The chief justice observed that the new prime minister had claimed adding several hundred megawatts of electricity to the national grid which was not understandable. He wondered whether he (premier) was a magician that he managed to do this.

Pesco’s new chief executive officer Brig (Retd) Tariq Sadozai informed the division bench comprising the chief justice and Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk that there was some fault in the main transmission line at Ghazi Barotha that had now been rectified.

He said that he had taken the charge three days ago and efforts were being made to reduce the duration of loadshedding in the province. The court asked the Pesco chief to introduce a uniform schedule for power shutdown in urban and rural areas of the province and warned him that no discrimination would be tolerated.

The bench directed him to read and implement the detailed judgment of the court passed two years ago in the suo motu notice case on long hours of loadshedding. The court in its judgement had directed Pesco to stop giving free units to the employees of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and pay them cash instead of the free units.

The bench had directed Pesco not to carry out loadshedding in hospitals, schools, hostels, colleges and courts. The bench fixed hearing of this case with another one in which the court had summoned Managing Director, National Transmission and Despatch Company (NPDC) along with complete loadshedding record of one year and warned that their arrest warrant would be issued if they failed to appear on the next hearing on July 4.

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