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Karachi

October 12, 2018

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Contempt of court plea filed against KE over unannounced load-shedding

A contempt of court application has been filed in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against K-Electric (KE) for allegedly violating the court orders by continuing discriminatory, excessive and unannounced load-shedding in the city.

Petitioners, Karamat Ali and others, submitted in the plea that the SHC had on May 29, 2017 directed the KE to ensure implementation of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (Nepra) decision which directed the power utility to ensure uninterrupted supply and distribution of electricity in Karachi.

The petitioners argued that the SHC had also ordered that Nepra would be at liberty to take appropriate action in accordance with the law against the KE in case of non-compliance with the court decision.

Faisal Siddiqui, the counsel for the petitioners, said that the alleged contemnor – KE – was supposed to comply with the court directives as per Nepra decision which bound the KE to ensure that there was no reduction or underutilisation of generation capacity of electricity. He added that the power utility was directed to ensure that electricity is distributed through well-maintained channels, feeders and cables in accordance with the maintenance plan specified in its investment plan.

The lawyer submitted that the KE was still continuing with the illegal and mala fide practice of discriminatory, excessive and unannounced load-shedding and the same was evident from a recent order passed by Nepra on September 25, in which it imposed a Rs5 million fine on the KE due to prolonged duration of unannounced, excessive and discriminatory load-shedding.

Siddiqui submitted that Nepra had given details regarding how the reduction in generation capacity and technical faults in the system due to lack of maintenance had lead to excessive and discriminatory load-shedding.

The counsel argued that the KE had acted illegally with respect to the reduction in the generation capacity, poor maintenance plan and discriminatory practices, and people of Karachi suffered a lot during hot seasons of the year as the power utility did not comply with the court orders. It was claimed in the plea that the KE management, despite an undertaking submitted to the court, willfully and deliberately violated the court directives.

Naming the KE chief executive officer, its generation, transmission and distribution officers, Nepra chairman and others as the alleged contemnors, the petitioners requested the SHC to take action against them for violating court orders.

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