Court: SC stays LNG import till further orders

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a stay order against the import of Liquefied Natural Gas LNG and held that the parties were bound to submit their written statements in the case till March 18.

A three member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed was hearing a suo moto notice regarding irregularities in the agreement signed for import of LNG.

The court noted that it would not remark on the transparency of the current contract, adding that transparency could have been maintained if ministries for Finance, Petroleum and Economic Affairs Division had kept in view the rules and regulations in their true spirit.

The court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau NAB chief to expedite the probe into the issue and carry out the investigation in an indiscriminate manner. The court noted the Economic Coordination Committee ECC was also not in the favour of the contract, but even then haste was shown. Counsel for Petroleum Ministry, Salman Akram Raja, told the court that LNG was not given on lease. However the court ordered the parties to submit their stance in written and adjourned the hearing till March 18.