File photo of BHC

Manan Mandokhail: 

QUETTA: In a landmark judgment, the Balochistan High Court (BHC) has directed citizens to pay only 10 percent of their bills to the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) for the last three months. This verdict was delivered by the BHC division bench on Tuesday afternoon.

To address the growing concerns of Balochistan’s populace regarding exorbitant gas bills, the BHC convened a hearing presided over by Mr. Justice Kamran Malakhail and Mr. Justice Nazir Ahmed Langove. The courtroom was filled with concerned citizens seeking relief from the financial strain caused by hefty bills. Notable legal representatives, including Syed Nazeer Agha Advocate, appeared in the case, supported by renowned human rights activist and senior lawyer, Jalila Haider.

Gas company officials were summoned to justify the staggering bills burdening the populace. Despite assurances of fair billing practices, the court found the situation alarming. Following a comprehensive hour-long discussion, the justices issued a decision aimed at alleviating the suffering of the masses.

“It is unjustifiable for the people of Baluchistan to endure inflated gas bills,” declared Justice Malakhail. “Henceforth, citizens shall only be required to pay 10% of the bills issued over the past three months.”

This ruling brought relief to many families struggling to cope with the dilemma of paying excessive bills or facing disconnection of essential services. However, the court’s intervention shed light on a deeper issue of systemic neglect.

Despite repeated warnings from the court, gas authorities persisted in imposing unjust charges on the impoverished populace. Even in cases of non-payment, residents faced punitive measures, with authorities refusing to remove meters.

The case has been adjourned until April 18, signaling an ongoing effort by the judiciary to hold accountable those responsible for the economic hardships faced by the people of Balochistan.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.