Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday turned down bail petition of an accused arrested under gas theft allegation.
A bench of the apex court headed by Acting Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, rejected bail plea of an accused from Lakki Marwat, who was arrested for allegedly stealing gas to generate electricity.
Accused was stealing gas to generate electricity for sale, Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed during the hearing. The accused aimed gun at concerned officials when they visited him for inquiry, the judge further said.
A power generator was also recovered from his house, Justice Ijaz added.
“Lakki Marwat suffers 18 hours power load shedding and keeping a generator in such situation is compulsion for power consumers,” defence counsel argued.
The accused was selling electricity to the whole neighborhood, Justice Qazi Ameen remarked.
He will be awarded 14 years jail term if the charge of gas theft proved against him, Justice Azmat Saeed said.
Fourteen years’ jail term is minimal for gas thieves, acting CJP further said.
The accused was booked in the gas theft case in March this year.
It is to mention here that gas theft is a major menace causes an annual loss of Rs 50 billion to the national exchequer.
In 2016, National Assembly passed the Gas (Theft and Recovery Act) that imposed heavy penalties on offenders engaged in gas theft with maximum punishment of 14 years jail term and a penalty of Rs 100 millions.