Supreme Court summons finance, energy, and local government secretaries
The Supreme Court came down hard on the KMC for not being able to pay its electricity bills.
Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard on Monday a petition filed by the KMC challenging the Sindh High Court’s February 14 verdict in which it was ordered to pay its outstanding dues to K-Electric. The case was heard at the court’s Karachi Registry.
KMC should use the electricity it is allotted in its budget, said Justice Shah. “You people have even installed air conditioners in your washrooms. You shouldn’t have used so much electricity.”
He said people who get paid Rs10 million cannot use electricity worth Rs20 million and then complain about lack of funds.
The corporation’s lawyer, Sameer Ghazzanfer, remarked that the Sindh government should pay the bill on their behalf as they don’t have the funds for it. Salaries haven’t been paid for the last four months, he said.
“You get a budget for your administrative expenses. You shouldn’t have exceeded that,” remarked Justice Shah. He said that the Sindh government has been paying the KMC’s bills for the last seven years and the metropolitan corporation has gotten used to it.
The court was informed that the outstanding dues amount to Rs580 million now. The two-member bench then summoned the finance, energy and local government secretaries on April 10.
The case has been ongoing for the last several years. It started after KE started disconnecting its connections at the KMC’s head office over unpaid bills. Power was eventually restored but the dues weren’t cleared.
The KMC argued that it is a public body and its affairs get affected when they don’t have power. The high court ruled that the KMC should pay its dues and that it can continue to disconnect power supply if the dues aren’t settled. That order has been challenged in the top court.