LAHORE: Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Mohammad Qasim Khan on Monday directed the federal government to release the report of an inquiry into the artificial shortage of the petroleum products that hit the country during the first half of 2020.
The court directive came after the sealed report of an inquiry commission was presented to the chief justice during the hearing of petitions seeking action against those responsible for the petrol crisis.
On a court query, a deputy attorney general informed the chief justice that a weekly meeting of the federal cabinet being held on Tuesday (today) would decide the question of making the report public.
Chief Justice Khan observed that the same statement had been given before the court at the last hearing too. He remarked that prima facie the cabinet members did not want to make the report public with mala fide intention.
The law officer said the report would be released after the prime minister’s approval.
The chief justice noted that the law under which the commission was formed on a court directive also made it mandatory for the authorities to release the report and any decision by the cabinet would have no impact.
Amicus curie Awais Khalid also said the report was supposed to be released in public interest.
Earlier, additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency Abubakar Khudabakhsh presented the sealed report before the chief justice and read out ‘operative parts’ of the report.
At the last hearing, the chief justice observed that it was not just the federal government that showed exemplary slackness, but also the provincial authorities failed to do what the law had required them to do to control the crisis.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2020