2011  CLC  1953     QUETTA-HIGH-COURT-BALOCHISTAN

AL-MAKKAH CNG STATION

Versus

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL

S. 6—Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) (Production and Marketing) Rules, 1992—Constitution of Pakistan, Arts.4, 18, 158 & 199—Constitutional petition—Establishment of CNG Filling Station in Sibi (Balochistan)—Grant of Provisional licence for such station and obtaining of NOC from Municipal Administration, Chief Inspector of Explosives and the Gas Company—Completion of such station by spending huge amount—Pre-commissioning inspection of such station by consultant of OGRA and payment of dues of SSGC by petitioner—Refusal of OGRA to grant CNG Marketing Licence to petitioner in view of subsequent ban imposed by Prime Minister on new Gas connections—Validity—Impugned ban would apply only to new industrial connections—Petitioner did not fall within ambit of impugned ban for having been granted permission by SSGC much prior to its imposition—Petitioner in pursuance of provisional licence after having obtained NOCs from various authorities and deposited dues of Gas Company, had a vested right for grant of marketing licence—Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority was legally bound to issue licence for putting petitioner’s station into operation—Petitioner’s fundamental right to conduct lawful business of such station had been infringed—So long a trade or business was lawful, a citizen eligible to conduct same could not be deprived from undertaking the same—High Court, in exercise of its powers of judicial review, could examine prohibition, if any, imposed on such right—Every citizen had a fundamental right to be dealt with in accordance with law—Refusal of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to issue marketing licence to petitioner was illegal, thus, he had not been dealt with in accordance with law—Policy decision of Federal Cabinet was that supply of Gas would remain uninterrupted in Gas producing areas including Balochistan—Article 158 of the Constitution had provided that a Province, in which a well-head of natural Gas was situated, shall have the precedence over other part of Pakistan in meeting the requirements from the well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day—Oil and Gas Regulatory had neither pleaded that Gas produced a Balochistan was more than its requirements nor placed on record any agreement regarding commitment—When statutory functionary acted mala fide or in a partial, unjust and oppressive manner, then High Court could issue appropriate directions—High Court accepted constitutional petition with special cost of Rs.20,000 and directed the Authority to issue marketing licence to petitioner immediately.