PHC issues notice to Pesco for overbilling


PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday issued a notice to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), directing it to explain why the electricity consumers were charged in the monthly bills for the electricity theft and line losses.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Nisar Hussain Khan and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim issued notice to Pesco and other authorities to explain the policy and why the regular electricity consumers were overcharged instead of taking action against the electricity thieves.
The Court issued notice in a writ petition filed by Syed Zafar through his lawyer Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah. During the course of hearing, the lawyer submitted that on the one hand, the Pesco was collecting unjustified fuel adjustment charges worth billions of rupees from electricity consumers of the province and on the other, people were charged in the electricity bills for the stolen electricity and line losses.
Qazi Jawad submitted that the Pesco has also adopted an unjust policy of “the more the power theft, the more the loadshedding, and vice versa” in the areas under their jurisdiction.He contended that it was duty of the Pesco authorities to take action against the illegal connections and electricity theft, instead of increasing loadshedding in the area and charged the electricity consumers.
The lawyer submitted that recovery of electricity theft and line losses from the electricity consumers was illegal and against the law and issue direction to Pesco to stop these illegal acts. He said that the officials went on to say that consumers would have to face severe loadshedding in the areas where line losses were above 80 percent and recovery of bills is weak.
Similarly, another bench of the high court comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ikramullah Khan extended stay order regarding closing of 252 schools in Mohmand and Orakzai agencies.
The bench again issued notice to secretary States and Frontier Regions to submit reply and explain position why these schools were closed. Malik Dost Muhammad, resident of Mohmand Agency, and Shahnawaz from Orakzai Agency had filed the writ petitions through their lawyers Khalid Raza and Raza Khan against closure of the schools.
They said the Fata Secretariat in 2016 had given a policy in which it was stated that those schools where students attendance is less would be closed and the students would be shifted to other schools in the tribal agencies. They said that due to the anti-education policy, 252 schools were identified to be closed down in Mohmand and Orakzai agencies and called it illegal and violation of the Constitution.