ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has dismissed the bail petition of a suspect accused of stealing natural gas for unauthorised electricity generation.
Alamgir Khan, a resident of a locality which falls within the jurisdiction of Lakki Marwat police station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had filed the bail plea in the apex court against the April 22, 2019 order of the Peshawar High Court which had rejected the same request.
The appeal was taken up by a bench comprising acting Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed on July 31.
The Supreme Court order, authored by Justice Ahmed, dismissed the appeal with an observation that since the view taken by the courts was within the remit of law, it was not open to any exception. “Thus the petition fails and [is] hereby dismissed,” the verdict said.
Suspect has been arrested for stealing gas for illegal power generation
Mr Khan was arrested by a raiding party which found him surreptitiously siphoning natural gas on some residential premises for illegally generating electricity and then distributing it among a large number of consumers in the area.
The petitioner was also accused of criminally intimidating the raiding party by brandishing a pistol on them, but he fled on seeing a police party.
He was later arrested whereas the raiding party took into possession different appliances being used for generating electricity by illegally using gas supply. The appliances include electric generators, stabilisers with electric panels and other paraphernalia to power the system.
The petitioner was charged with the offence under Section 462-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which deals with the tampering with auxiliary or distribution of pipelines related to petroleum products.
The law suggests a rigorous imprisonment which may extend to 10 years, but will not be less than five years with a fine which may extend to Rs3 million if the offender is accused of wilfully tampering with or attempting to tamper or abetting in tampering with any auxiliary or distribution pipeline of petroleum or any other related system and equipment.
The court order stated that the position taken by counsel for the petitioner Salahuddin Malik required an in-depth analysis, essentially on the basis of evidence which was yet to be recorded, and thus fell far outside the barriers of tentative assessment.
But the statements of the witnesses and the state functionaries, which were duly corroborated by the apparatus secured from the spot, constituted reasonable grounds to prima facie frame the petitioner with the charge, the order explained.