Supreme Court likely to issue short order in Reko Diq case next week

By: News Desk
Published: 03:28 PM, 29 Nov, 2022
Supreme Court likely to issue short order in Reko Diq case next week
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The Supreme Court has hinted at releasing its short verdict in the presidential reference on Reko Diq project case during next week, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the hearing of the case would be completed by tomorrow. 

A five-judge SC larger bench headed by CJP Bandial heard the case on Wednesday. 

Lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan presented his arguments in favour of the project which he dubbed environment friendly. He told the court that all environmental concerns were taken care of in the project. 

During its last hearing, the SC put a question as what adverse effects large-scale mining at the Reko Diq site could have on the groundwater level, as it is already scarce and fast depleting in Balochistan due to lack of rains.

The lawyer told the court that the water which the company would use, it would not be drinkable water. The water would be passed through a pipeline to Gwadar Port, where it would be treated and then the clean water would be discharged into the sea, he added.  

On this, CJP Bandial inquired was it not possible to use sea water by bringing it to Reko Diq.

Lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan replied in negative saying that Reko Diq was 680km away from Gwadar and it was impossible to carry water daily. 

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel remarked that there was possibility that Balochistan might face a drought after constant use of water during this water-intensive mining project. 

The chief justice of Pakistan asked the lawyer if it was possible that the foreign company would install a water recycling plant in Balochistan. 

The CJP also inquired about the rights and facilities for the Reko Diq project workers 

The lawyer told the court that the local labour laws would be applied on them. 

Jehanzeb Awan, the counsel for the state entities which are investing in the project, told the court that the share of Government of Pakistan’s investment in the project was 50%. It’s not a direct investment, rather the GoP is investing through three state institutions which include. OGDCL, Pakistan Petroleum Company Limited and Government Holding Private Company. These three state entities would invest $4.5 billion in the project, the lawyer said adding that the GoP was to pay $900 million fine, out of which $562 million had been paid by these three state entities. 

The lawyer further told the court that 64% benefit of the project would go to the public sector and the audit of all transactions to be done in the project would be available to the stakeholders for their perusal.

Reporter Amanat Gishkori