LHC orders Punjab govt to legislate against electricity theft

Updated June 06, 2014


—File photo
—File photo

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered the Punjab government to enact laws for preventing widespread electricity pilferage and wastage.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial issued these orders while hearing a prolonged case pertaining to electricity load shedding.

In his petition, the plaintiff said that load-shedding schedule is being changed frequently, and that power outages are being carried out unannounced in the extremely hot weather.

The chief justice in his comments remarked: “There’s bound to be theft if the federal government keeps raising the electricity tariff time and again.”

The chief justice said the arrest of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) chief depicts the rising levels of corruption in the public organisation. The current situation of Lesco elicits that appointments in the institution were not made on merit, he remarked.

Also read: Lesco chief removed, arrested over alleged abuse of power

On Monday, Lesco chief Arshad Rafiq was removed from office and arrested over charges of corruption and abuse of power. Rafiq is being charged with trading in substandard transformers, authorising changes in load-shedding schedules and failing to prevent electricity theft.

The LHC has been hearing the case on electricity theft and load shedding for a prolonged period, during which it previously ordered governmental authorities to submit several reports on the matter.

During case hearings in last year, the federal government had admitted that electricity worth Rs90 billion had been stolen during the last five years.