Reko Diq contract outside the law: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court observed on Thursday that there was no law under which contracts like the one with foreign companies, like the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), could be signed and sought details of the contract.

The observation was made by Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while hearing petitions challenging the contract of the TCC in Reko Diq copper-gold deposits filed by 26 senators. The was taken up by a four-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Kahlilur Rehman Ramday.

The apex court also said it was unsatisfied with the response filed by the Balochistan government. During the course of hearing, the applicants’ counsel Raza Kazam urged the court to determine whether the contract was against rules and regulations or not.

“And if the contract is (found to be) against the set rules and regulations, officials who were responsible for (signing) the contract should be pointed out,” he added.

Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said that the contract had been awarded to the company in 1999 but questioned under which law the company had drilled to a depth of 20,000 metres.

The court instructed the provincial representatives to attend the court proceedings. Later, the hearing was adjourned till Friday (today).

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2011.


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