ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday disposed of a contempt of court petition against Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after he tendered unconditional apology before the court.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui resumed the hearing in a contempt petition in which the court had summoned the Federal Minister on January 21 for passing derogatory remarks regarding the verdict of IHC which had allowed the CNG stations to remain open for three days a week.
During the hearing, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tendered unconditional apology that the court accepted and disposed of the matter.
Filing the contempt of court petition, a petitioner Syed Javed Akbar Shah contended that the federal minister had passed contemptuous remarks at a news conference regarding the court judgment for provision of natural gas to the CNG stations.
The federal minister had said at a news conference on January 11 that unfortunately there has been a serious gas crisis in the country over the past three weeks due to severe winter and resultant higher demand and a decision of the IHC to restore gas supply to CNG stations. Mir Aurangzeb advocate, the counsel for Khaqan, argued before the court that the word 'unfortunately' was never uttered with malafide intentions. "My client respects the court and he never deliberately spoke anything that is against the honour of the court. My client has appeared before the court respecting court's decision," he maintained.
The counsel further argued that if court feels that any inappropriate word has been spoken, my client tenders unconditional apology. At this juncture, Justice Siddiqui said that if you would not respect the courts how a common man would respect. On the previous hearing, Justice Siddiqui had observed that the federal government could rightfully have challenged the court order but the minister has ridiculed the court orders.
However, Justice Shaukat Aziz accepted Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's unconditional apology and disposed of the matter. Talking to media after hearing of the case, the federal minister said that he had no intentions of ridiculing the court orders. He did not appear before the court on the previous date of hearing as he did not receive the court notices.
Responding to a question regarding the gas shortage and loadshedding, Abbasi said that the PML-N took charge of the government in very difficult circumstances. Pakistan has a problem of surplus gas. Federal government could not take some decision that should have been taken in the last six months.
"However, we have devised a strategy for overcoming the gas shortage by taking measures for the import of LNG. From the start of next year, we would be having surplus gas with us," remarked Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
He said that they had told the CNG station owners to take natural gas at the market rate.
Replying to a query about multiple CNG stations situated closely to each other, the federal minister said that the previous government had issued the licenses for these stations.