SC takes up plea against govt’s bid to buy BP assets


ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench will today (Monday) take up a petition by Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) former chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad against the government’s bid to purchase its sold out assets from the British Petroleum (BP) at inflated prices, which would cause a loss of $800-million to the national exchequer.
The bench consists of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday. In compliance with the court’s earlier notice, the respondents – the federation, Petroleum Ministry, OGDCL and PPL – would submit their reports on the issue. Syed Hasnain Ibrahim Kazmi, lawyer for Qazi Hussain Ahmad, would advance his arguments in support of the petition. The petition was filed under Article 184(3) of the constitution.
The petitioner asked the court to direct directors general petroleum and OGDCL to explain why they had felt the need to purchase the assets at higher rates. According to the lawyer, the apex court, in a similar case that proposed the sale of Pakistan Steel Mills, had taken serious notice to avert massive financial losses to the national exchequer.
He said the court has already directed the OGDCL to submit paragraph-wise comments on the proposed purchase of British Petroleum assets on exorbitant price.