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The judge issued a stay order in favour of the petitioners and sought a reply from the ministry, the Ogra chairman and the SNGPL in two weeks.  - File photo

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court restrained the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Friday from disconnecting gas supply connections of 22 CNG stations in Punjab.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued the order on petitions by different CNG station owners who submitted that at the time of obtaining connections for their CNG stations, they had signed an agreement with the SNGPL that gas supplies would be disconnected in December, January and February.

They said the SNGPL also wanted to disconnect supplies from March to May on the basis of its load management policy.

They said as per the load management policy gas was being supplied to fertilizer companies which was a discriminatory act under the law as one connection could not be severed to facilitate others.

The petitioners said the policy was not protected by any law as it was mere outcome of verbal orders of the petroleum ministry.

They pleaded that as per the agreement, seasonal period was defined from December to February and not March to May, but the SNGPL had changed it on its own in violation of the agreement.

They prayed to the court to set aside the load management policy and change of seasonal period by the respondent. They also requested the court to restrain SNGPL from disconnecting gas supply to their CNG stations.

The judge issued a stay order in favour of the petitioners and sought a reply from the ministry, the Ogra chairman and the SNGPL in two weeks.

Prisoners case:

The Lahore High Court chief justice sought on Friday a report from the Punjab inspector general (IG) of prisons about the prisoners languishing in jails despite the completion of their term.

Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed sought the report while hearing a petition about the problems of prisoners and inefficiency of the government.

The chief justice said that the government engaged scores of ministers on heavy remunerations but did not pay heed to the problems of the masses. He suggested that the government forms a fund to pay Diyat, Qasas and other fines to release poor prisoners.

An assistant advocate general informed the court that according to a report by the IG (prison), 53,000 prisoners were detained beyond the capacity of the jails in the province. He said good health facilities and pure food were not being provided to prisoners in jails.

The chief justice directed the IG to submit a report in a month about the number of prisoners who had completed their terms but could not be released due to their inability to pay fines. Petitioner Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that prisoners were being provided substandard food in jails, and many had died owing to lack of medical facilities there.