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PHC's detailed order terms NEPRA's fuel levy 'discriminatory'

11 February, 2014

PESHAWAR: A 71-page judgment of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on collection of fuel adjustment charges (FAC) from consumers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provides for ways to repay consumers in the province.

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PESHAWAR: A 71-page judgment of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on collection of fuel adjustment charges (FAC) from consumers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provides for ways to repay consumers in the province.

The collection of the levy from consumers in K-P was earlier termed illegal by the PHC which also directed it to be repaid, according to the detailed judgment available with Our Sources.

The judgment laid down by former PHC chief justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Nisar Hussain Khan states that neither the provisions of National Electric Power Regularity Authority (Nepra) Act, 1997 nor any part of the Nepra Rules, 1998 expressively or otherwise authorises the authority to fix a uniform rate of tariff for the whole country, particularly for K-P which has unmatched contribution to the national grid as it provides cheapest hydel power and fuel in the shape of natural gas for running thermal power stations.

Around 80 industrial units had challenged the collection of FAC in the province's electricity bills after which the court had stayed the levy and then termed it illegal on December 17, 2013.

The order stated the tariff collection under the present formula was unwarranted in law, highly discriminatory in nature with regards to K-P's consumer where not a single thermal power generating unit is situated nor a single unit of such electricity is provided to the province through any transmission or distribution line.

The court stated that after going through Nepra's rules concerning tariff determination, it did not find any justification of imposing a fuel levy on consumers. "All actions taken by Nepra or any other authority under the purported exercise of powers, under any other law not relevant, as discussed above, are declared null and void and the authority is hereby restrained from claiming, recovering, levying, imposing and to repeat the same in future because we have already declared the same unlawful, illegal and void ab-initio" reads the judgment.

Moreover, the court ordered that K-P's consumers be repaid by Nepra or the federal government either as readjustment in electricity bills to a maximum of 30 installments or in lump sum amount.

End.


 
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