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LHC allows Federal Ombudsman to decide public complaints

Lahore : A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday allowed the Federal Ombudsman to decide public complaints regarding gas distribution companies while
suspending a single bench order.

The Division Bench of Lahore High Court had today set aside the earlier order of Single Bench of Lahore High Court regarding jurisdiction of the Wafaqi Mohtasib to decide cases of Gas and Electricity Distribution Companies filed at the Ombudsman Secretariat.

The Hon’ble court’s order further said that Wafaqi Mohtasib has jurisdiction on the electricity and gas distribution companies as far as maladministration by them and their employees were concerned.

The order said that the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat may take cognizance of such acts of maladministration by these agencies as per provisions of relevant law. The Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat had earlier filed an intra court appeal against the order of the Single Bench of LHC.

The Learned Judges remarked that the role of an important organization cannot be barred from entertaining cases of maladministration of these Agencies affecting lives of general public.

The bench headed by Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan passed the orders on an intra-court appeal filed by the Ombudsman Secretariat against a LHC single bench order wherein the Ombudsman was restrained to decide such complaints.

During the hearing, the Ombudsman’s counsel Hafiz Ahsan Khokhar apprised the bench that the Ombudsman had jurisdiction to hear the public complaints regarding gas and electricity companies.

The Federal Ombudsman might take cognizance of such acts of maladministration by the companies as per provisions of relevant law, he added.

He submitted that the single bench orders were inconsistent with the law and pleaded the bench to set aside them.

At this, the bench suspended the single orders and issued notices to the respondents for filing reply.

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