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Crude Oil January 10, 2019 12:30:14 AM

PHC Seeks Report on Alleged Crude Oil Theft in Karak

Anil
Mathews
OilMonster Author
The court issued the directive after hearing a writ petition.
PHC Seeks Report on Alleged Crude Oil Theft in Karak

OILMONSTER.COM- The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to file a detailed report about the alleged crude oil theft in Karak district.

The court issued the directive after hearing a writ petition. It was filed by residents of Karak against an international oil and gas exploration company seeking orders for probing the theft of crude oil worth Rs142 billion from the oil and gas fields in the district.

A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Qalandar Ali Khan issued the notice to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and provincial government to submit a reply before next hearing in the case.

The petition was jointly filed by Mujahid Islam and 49 other residents of Banda Daud Shah in Karak district.

They had sought the court’s orders to cancel the exploration licence of MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company over the alleged theft of the crude oil.

During the hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer Muazzam Butt submitted that as per the newspapers reports the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources had stated that over the last two and a half years, theft of crude oil worth Rs142 billion had taken place in Karak district, but unfortunately the FIA and the Ministry of Petroleum did not take notice of the matter.

The residents based the petition on the press clippings of the national and international newspapers which they had attached with the petition.

The lawyer submitted that as per the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources the theft was still taking place from the joint pipeline where unidentified culprits were stealing oil and transporting it to other areas.

He said the provincial government may be directed to evaluate the losses caused to the general masses and inhabitants of these areas, including damage to their life, property and livestock.

The lawyer contended that the people of Karak, Kohat and Hangu were entitled to compensation by the provincial and federal governments as they faced health hazards, their properties and lands suffered damage and their area was exposed to environmental degradation. The court was asked to declare that the FIA, law-enforcement agencies, federal and provincial revenue authorities, OGRA, OGDCL, and federal and provincial anti-corruption bodies were also involved in the oil and gas theft and other issues as they safeguarded the interest of the company.

During the course of hearing, Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan observed that the court is going to direct the FIA to submit detailed report about the oil theft and everyone including FIA officials would be brought to justice if found involved in this crime or for their negligence.

The lawyers claimed in the court that about 24,000 barrel oil is being stolen on a daily basis by the company from the oil fields. He said the assembly standing committee over the matter transferred the FIA inquiry officer, who had revealed the massive theft of the crude oil. Assistant Director Legal FIA, Javed appeared in the case. Assistant Attorney General, Mansoor Tariq represented federal government and Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Shah represented provincial government in the case.

Courtesy: www.thenews.com.pk

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