Judges not entitled to get monetization of 2000 electricity units, Finance ministry

Money saved due to solar panels installed by retired judge, not to be reimbursed

ISLAMABAD: Finance ministry has informed the Supreme Court that the rules do not provide for monetization of the 2000 units, at the government’s expense, to a retired judge or their widow.

The Ministry of Finance’s Regulation wing stated this in its reply to the Supreme Court on reimbursement of the cost of the consumed units of electricity adjusted through net metering. It stated that presently, the rules do not provide for monetization of the facility of 2000 electricity units, which is to be provided in the form of electricity alone.

As per Paragraph 25(1)(c) of the Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Order 1997, “a Judge on retirement and after his death, his widow, shall be entitled to 2000 units of electricity at government expenses.”

This is the prescribed ceiling of consumption as per the finance division. The MoF categorically informed that the rules do not provide for monetization of the above facility.

Earlier, the top court had asked the Ministry of Finance to furnish an opinion regarding reimbursement of the cost of the consumed units of electricity adjusted through net metering (solar system) of retired Chief Justice of Pakistan’s electricity bill.

Former CJP Anwar Zaheer Jamali wrote a letter to SC that former CJP more than three years ago installed a 15 KV solar system at his residence to meet the challenges of skyrocketing electricity consumption charges.

The immediate benefit of this was that each year, during many months a substantial sum was already being covered by way of adjustment of electricity units sold to K-Electric by the consumer, through net metering on grid supply.

Till recently, he was in the dark, that the office is misinterpreting the above provision of the 1997 order in the payment of consumption charges of electricity units as consumed per entitlement, by him.

This fact came to the knowledge when a 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 opposed to 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 was being followed by the office for more than 3 years causing heavy financial loss to the national exchequer.

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, no further documentation is required for this purpose.

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

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing this informative blog post on the Finance Ministry’s stance regarding judges’ entitlement to the monetization of 2000 electricity units. Understanding the government’s policies is crucial, and your article provides clarity on this matter. It’s essential to stay informed about such decisions that impact public officials. Your efforts in disseminating this information are highly appreciated. Thanks for keeping us in the loop on significant developments in financial and policy matters.

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