KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday extended till Dec 7 its earlier interim restraining order for K-Electric from collecting the controversial Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) on behalf of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation through electricity bills.

A division bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar also directed the KMC to file comments on one of the two petitions till the next date of hearing.

Earlier, the bench had appointed former attorney generals Khalid Jawed Khan and Munir A. Malik as amici curiae to assist the court on the subject issue and the former appeared before the bench on Tuesday and advanced his opinion.

Barrister Khan submitted that there was a need to examine the relevant laws of KMC and KE.

An additional advocate general supported the stance of KMC.

The SHC was petitioned against the provincial government’s move to outsource the collection of the MUCT to the KE and on Sept 26, the bench through an interim order had restrained the power utility from collecting the tax through electricity bills.

Advocate Syed Najeebuddin Ahmed had moved the SHC in April while city chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman and other party leaders petitioned the SHC in September impugning the collection of MUCT through the power bills.

Petition dismissed as infructuous

Another SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Agha dismissed a petition of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Kunwar Khalid Yunus against his detention order issued under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.

The petitioner, through his lawyer Shaukat Hayat, filed the petition last month stating that the provincial home department had passed an order in April about his arrest and detention under the MPO on fabricated accusation of his alleged association with the MQM-London.

The petitioner submitted that he was 78-year-old and suffering from multiple diseases and completely confined to bed and the impugned order was issued in violation of the fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 9 and 10 of the Constitution.

A provincial law officer submitted that the impugned notification had now been expired and was no longer in the field. A statement filed on the behalf of the home department said that the notification was issued on April 8 for 90 days and it expired on July 7.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2022

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