The Lahore High Court has made it unlawful to adjust electricity bills for fuel costs

The Lahore High Court (LHCJustice )’s Ali Baqar Najafi ruled that it was unlawful to include Fuel Charge Adjustments (FCA) in power bills

Based on 3,659 petitions submitted by Advocate Azhar Siddique and others, the decision also determined that quarterly tariff modifications and the conversion of industrial rates to commercial tariffs were unlawful.

In his 81-page decision, Justice Najafi stressed the possible financial burden that taxes can place on the general public and asked government authorities to develop a solid strategy to reduce financial harm. The judge ruled that Section 3 of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Act is unconstitutional and that domestic consumers should not be subjected to taxes that exceed their means.

The petitioners stated in court that the inappropriate inclusion of FCA in the bills by the government constituted a legal violation. They requested that the court declare FCA and all other levies to be unlawful. On October 10, 2022, the court reserved judgement after taking all arguments into account.

In order to offer cheap power and guarantee an adequate supply of electricity to meet demand, the judge ordered the federal government to investigate alternative energy sources such nuclear, hydel, wind, and solar energy. As Pakistan now produces the most costly electricity in South Asia, which has also resulted in a decline in exports, it also called for the development of resources to buy affordable power from other nations.

The high court declared that electricity tariffs should not be altered without first consulting customers and making sure there is a constant supply of power, and NEPRA was instructed to take action against overcharging power companies.

This ruling comes after the LHC Rawalpindi Circuit bench’s order to remove FCA from power bills in August 2022. The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and NEPRA were instructed by Justice Jawad ul Hassan not to incorporate taxes in customer bills.

Written by Aly Bukshi

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