Those who accorded approval committed criminal act: CJP


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Chaudhry has remarked that those who decided and accorded approval for privatisation of the Lakhra Power Project notwithstanding the case was pending in the Supreme Court (SC) has committed a criminal act.
The CJP gave these remarks while presiding over a 3-memebr bench of the SC during hearing of Lakhra Power Project Privatisation case on Tuesday.
He further remarked: “How it can be possible that the secretary water and power who obtained approval for the summary did not know about hearing of the case. It is not an ordinary thing. On one side the court is hearing the case while on the other the government gave approval to this matter without informing the court. It seems as if there is no coordination among the institutions. We adjourned the hearing of many important cases but the govt is making fun of all such of all such decision. The Lakhra Project has no relevance with federation. It is owned by the government of Sindh.”
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked: “Giving approval to this project is a criminal act. We must be told whom they should take the action against.”
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that the government had deliberately accorded approval to the privatization process.
Gul Hassan Aurangzeb revealed in the court that the Privatization Commission (PC) had sent a summary for privatization of 2 GENCOS and 2 DISCOS including Lakhra and the summary was sent in 2013. GENCOS which were set up in 1974 in Muzaffargarh were also being privatized, he added. Overall production capacity of Muzaffargarh Power Station stood at 1050 megawatt and only one unit was functioning while the two units were out of order and due to which much loss was being caused, Aurangzeb said, adding all the GENCOS and DISCOS causing loss were being privatized.
The CJP inquired: “If it can be done so without the approval of ECC. When the work is not done with the approval of ECC, then how the transparency will come therein. Nothing has been included in the list.”
Additional Attorney General Shah Khawar said he had talked of obtaining new directives. In his remarks Justice Jawad said: “Prime Minister (PM) is himself according approval. You know nothing despite being an additional attorney general.”
Justice Azmat remarked: “The government does not know about public interest. On one hand the project is being leased out and on the other the PM is approving this project for privatization.”
The secretary water and power told that this document was issued with his signature and he accepted it.
Justice Azmat observed: “When the government had decided in principle to privatize it and accorded approval then as to why you did not inform the attorney general office.”
The CJP remarked: “We side with the government out of way and we will continue to side with it on every occasion. We provide protection to officers everywhere so that system of the country continues to run. But the bureaucrats think that the country has not to be allowed to run. Give us reply now!” The court sought explanation in writing from the secretary water and power within 24 hours.