ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered for forensic audit of pending cases of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and directed the Secretary Energy to file the report within two months.
A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the SNGPL appeal against the reinstatement of its removed employees and issued aforementioned directions.
The bench noted that the SNGPL management was not taking interest in the pending cases.
The court expressed concern over the large legal team of the company and got annoyed with SNGPL Managing Director (MD) Ali Hamdani for having no clue about the instant matter.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, member of the bench, said that the public money is being wasted.
He noted that the legal team of company already comprised of over a dozen lawyers despite that they have engaged the service of another three lawyers.
The Chief Justice said that the SNGPL would become bankrupt by paying fees to the lawyers. He added that by not pursuing the cases in the courts SNGPL is suffering from million of rupees losses.
Secretary Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) assured that he would ask the SNGPL Board to investigate the matter. At that the bench suspended the Lahore High Court order for the reinstatement of the meter readers.
The High Court in 1998 had restored the meter readers and ordered the SNGPL to pay them salaries. Justice Gulzar remarked that the company has over one dozen lawyers and despite that no one appears on behalf of the SNGPL before the court.
He said that its ultimate damage is to the State.
The Chief Justice admonished the SNGPL lawyer who did not prepare the case and said that why not they cancel his licence and told him to leave the courtroom.
Justice Gulzar noted that the appeal against the High Court was filed in 2018, but the company’s legal team later on did not pursue the matter.
He observed that the lawyers take fee from the company but do not appear before the courts.
He said that had the court not passed the order that the SNGPL would have employed 500 persons.
After issuing notices to the parties, the apex court adjourned the case for two months.