LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday suspended the government decision to place five key regulatory authorities under the administrative control of relevant ministries.
The court suspended the notification issued for placing the regulatory bodies; Oil and Gas Regularity Authority (OGRA), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), and Frequency Allocation Board under the respective ministries.
Advocate Sheraz Zaka had challenged the Prime Minister’s decision to place the above mentioned authorities under the respective ministries’ administrative control. The petitioners had argued that the Prime Minister while ending the autonomy of the authorities by placing these under the respective ministries’ administrative control committed an illegal act.
He added that as per constitution the regulatory bodies can’t be merged with ministers through simple notification. He argued that the government required parliament’s approval for placing these under the respective ministries’ control.
He pleaded the court that the Cabinet Division notification issued on December 20, 2016 be revoked.’
The court while suspending the notification summoned Attorney General for Pakistan in next hearing.
The Cabinet Division notification had stated: “In terms of Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Business, 1973 the prime minister has been pleased to transfer control of following regulatory authorities from cabinet division to the divisions mentioned against below each name.”.
The notification issued by the cabinet division had said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had been given under the control of the Water and Power division, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) under the Petroleum and Natural Resources division, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) under the Information Technology and Telecom division and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) under the Finance Division.