In a significant legal development, a petition on Saturday filed in the Supreme Court challenging the recent increase in petroleum product prices by the caretaker government.
The petitioner, Maulvi Iqbal Haider, asserts that the price hike is not only unfair but also violates the constitution, arguing that only elected representatives have the authority to adjust petroleum product prices.
Under the constitutional provision cited in the application, Article 184(3), the court has been petitioned to intervene and declare the caretaker government's actions as unconstitutional. The petitioner contends that the caretaker government lacks the legal authority to raise petroleum prices and calls for an immediate halt to further increases.
According to plea the caretaker government's recent decision to raise petroleum prices instead of prioritizing the organization of elections within 90 days is causing considerable hardship for the common people. Since August 15, the prices of petroleum products have surged by more than 38 rupees, translating into a 20% increase.
This substantial price hike has left many struggling to afford basic necessities, with some finding it difficult to have two meals a day in the face of soaring inflation.
The rise in petrol prices has also significantly impacted transportation, forcing commuters to opt for alternative, often less convenient, modes of travel. With the price of petrol reaching unprecedented levels, many individuals have resorted to riding bicycles, but even these affordable options are becoming increasingly out of reach due to the relentless inflationary pressure.
The petition names several key stakeholders, including the Federation of Pakistan, the Election Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), as parties in the case. It seeks the court's intervention to protect the rights and interests of the common people who are grappling with the economic fallout of these price hikes.
As this legal challenge unfolds, it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will respond to the plea and whether it will intervene to address the concerns raised by Maulvi Iqbal Haider on behalf of the public.