SC directs Finance Ministry to furnish opinion on retired CJP’ electricity bill

ISLAMABAD: The Top court has asked the Ministry of Finance to furnish opinion regarding reimbursement of the cost of the consumed units of Electricity adjusted through net metering (solar system) of retired Chief Justice of Pakistan bill.

Sources said that former CJP Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali has written a letter to SC regarding availing of facility under paragraph 25(I)(c)-(Facilities to retired Judges).

Former CJP has installed, from his own pocket, a 15 KV solar system at his residence, therefore, in his bills the cost of the electricity units consumed at his residence are being adjusted through net metering (solar system) and the cost to be paid by him has been shown as “PAYMENT NOT REQUIRED”.

Paragraph 25 (1) (c) of the Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Order 1997 states that every former Chief Justice of Pakistan and Judge of this Court is entitled to claim reimbursement of 2000 units of electricity per month.

In addition, a Judge on retirement, and after his death, his widow, shall be entitled 25 HM of Gas per month and free supply of water.

The retired CJP in its letter submitted that a bare reading of the provision from the Supreme Court Judges (Leaves, Pensions and Privileges) Order, 1997 makes it abundantly clear that each month a judge of the Supreme Court will be entitled to a maximum of 2000 (two thousand) units of electricity on actual consumption basis. However, no specific mode of payment by the Judge is prescribed in the paragraph (ibid).

In the present case, following the policy of austerity, more than three years ago former CJP installed a 15 KV solar system at his residence to meet the challenges of skyrocketing electricity consumption charges from K-Electric, the suppliers.

The immediate benefit of this working has been that each year during many months towards payment of electricity consumption charges a substantial sum is paid by way of adjustment of electricity units sold to K-Electric by the Consumer through net metering on grid supply.

Till recently, he was not aware, rather in dark, that the office is misinterpreting the above provision of the 1997 order in the payment of electricity consumption charges of 2000 units or less as consumed per entitlement, by the Consumer.

This fact came to the knowledge when vide letter dated 31.05.2023, a cheque for payment of electricity dues was received showing an amount of electricity consumption charges from January to April 2023 (four months) at only Rs 6,608 as against the actual sum paid through adjustment of units and cash to Rs 78,935 when further probed, it came to light that this erroneous practice is being followed by the office for more than 3 years causing heavy financial loss in aggregate to lakhs of rupee.

It is pertinent to mention that the monthly electricity bills issued by K-Electric contain all details about net-metering of on grid supply by the Consumer and adjustment of such due payment towards electricity consumption charge as per their policy in vogue, therefore, for this purpose no further documentation is required.

It may also be mentioned here that payment of electricity bills to the concerned department of K-Electric is sole responsibility of the Consumer and reimbursement of such consumption charges, as per entitlement is duty of the office as per Presidential Order 1997.

The former CJP  directed SC to take care of all earlier electricity bills of the undersigned which may be rechecked in line with the above interpretation and accordingly due sums may be paid. Moreover, in future this practice shall be followed, the retired CJP asked the top court.

Sources said that SC after the approval of the registrar asked the finance division to furnish opinion regarding reimbursement of the cost of the consorted units of the electricity (as per entitlement) adjusted through net metering (solar system).

Shahzad Paracha
Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read