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SC declares Musharraf-era LPG quota allotment null and void

05 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Announcing its judgement in the case regarding allotment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) quota during the era of Pervez Musharraf, the Supreme Court observed that the August 12, 2003 Implementation Agreement between Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) was in gross violation of the bidding process as advertised and set out in the tender documents, and nullified the agreement.

The 23-page judgement, authored by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, said the project was awarded by the SSGCL in a highly non-transparent manner with the objective of giving undue benefit to JJVL, a marketing company of the liquefied gas. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, after hearing the petition of Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Khawaja Muhammad Asif had reserved the judgement in October this year. Khawaja Asif had filed the petition at a time when he was an MNA of the opposition PML-N in the National Assembly.

The petition was related to the validity of the Implementation Agreement between SSGCL and JJVL. The agreement was awarded to JJVL on August 12, 2003 to ‘Build Operate and Own' an LPG extraction plant at Jamshoro. The bench directed the FIA to enquire about the agreement and submit a report, which shall identify all those who are responsible for the failings, including acts of criminal negligence, corruption, corrupt practices or other offences.

The FIA was also directed to enquire into and investigate any matter which may come to light from examination of any documents and records during the course of enquiry/investigation and submit its report within 30 days from December 4. The court said that the deletion of clause 18 of the Implementation Agreement and its substitution by a vague and meaningless clause was done at the behest of JJVL for its benefit and also for that of its lenders at the expense of the general public interest.

"The basis for calculating royalty payments, which had specifically been agreed, was unlawfully altered to provide benefit to JJVL and heavy loss to SSGCL, the state and ultimately to the people of Pakistan," the verdict noted.

"All losses caused to and incurred by the state, state enterprise SSGCL and the people as a result of the bidding process and during the tenure of Implementation Agreement are to be recovered from JJVL and all persons who had actively participated and had made substantial decisions in the bidding process and making of the Implementation Agreement."

End.

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