KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday restrained K-Electric from disconnecting power supply to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation till further orders.

A single bench gave the restraining order on a lawsuit filed by the KMC against the power utility for demanding “highly exaggerated, erroneous and excessive electricity bills” from the city’s municipality.

KMC’ counsel Advocate Sameer Ghazanfar recalled that in 1991, the KMC imposed octroi duty on the import of electricity energy upon the former Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, the predecessor of K-Electric, by virtue of Rule 5(2) of Sindh Councils (Imposition of Taxes) Rules, 1979.

Sharjeel Memon’s post-arrest bail plea dismissed

However, he said, the power utility challenged the imposition of octroi duty on the ground that electricity did not fall within the ambit of the term “goods” as the same was neither a tangible commodity nor quantity of the same could be measured.

The counsel informed the judge that the SHC decided the lawsuit against the levy of duty on the KESC in favour of the KMC declaring that electric energy fell within the ambit of the term “goods”, hence octroi duty on its imports could be levied.

Thereafter, the KMC served K-Electric with a notice to pay Rs2,02,45,66,610 as octroi quantity of electricity for the years from 1991 to 1999 in its municipal area.

However, the counsel said, K-Electric instead of making payment, filed a civil suit and succeeded to obtain an injective order.

He submitted that the power utility under the garb of SHC injunction order also withheld other claims.

The counsel said that K-Electric claimed that dues amounting to Rs3,159,020,664 were outstanding against the KMC and demanded to pay at least 50 per cent of the total outstanding dues, or it would disconnect power supply to the municipal corporation.

He said that the defendant K-Electric had started making “illegal” demands of outstanding dues from the KMC through letters dated Dec 14, 2017 and Nov 30, 2017 without settling the accounts.

The KMC prayed to the court to declare that the demand of Rs3,159,020,664 raised by the K-Electric was erroneous and illegal.

It also prayed to direct the power utility to restrain K-Electric from taking any action against KMC in pursuance of the notice issued to it till the final disposal of the lawsuit.

The single bench headed by Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput restrained K-Electric from taking any actions on the impugned demands till the next date of hearing which would be pronounced later by the court’s office.

Sharjeel’s bail plea

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh rejected post-arrest bail applications of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker and former minister Sharjeel Inam Memon and others in a Rs5.76 billion corruption case.

Mr Memon and 11 others were arrested in October last year outside the SHC after their interim bails were revoked in the case.

The PPP leader along with former provincial information secretary, officials of the information department and others was booked by the National Accountability Bureau for embezzlement of Rs5,766,479,766.

While the defence counsel denied the charges against the accused persons, the NAB prosecutor told the judges that there were sufficient evidences against the accused and their bail pleas were liable to be rejected.

Mr Memon’s counsel Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa submitted that his client was suffering from serious disease but had not been provided due medical facilities in prison. The lawyer requested the court to grant him bail on medical grounds, maintaining that the medical board had advised proper treatment.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2018



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