Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday took the federal government to task for excessive electricity load shedding in Sindh, observing that the ‘federation is not fulfilling its responsibility’. Heading a three-judge bench hearing a suo motu case regarding unannounced electricity load shedding in the province, the CJP rejected as unsatisfactory the reports presented by the federal government and the National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) explaining the issue and asked for new reports at the next hearing scheduled for November. “These reports don’t give a clear picture,” said the CJP, adding that neither the federal nor the provincial governments are doing anything to address the issue. “The federation is not fulfilling its responsibility,” he remarked. The chief justice so far as to remark that ‘people in Mumbai’ seem to be determining ‘who will get how much electricity in Karachi’. “It seems that who will get how much electricity in Karachi is being controlled [by someone in] Mumbai,” the CJP remarked. The CJP said half of Karachi spends the night awake due to power outages, noting that a heatwave is about to hit Karachi and people do not have any electricity. “When the company is being controlled in Mumbai, this will happen,” he remarked. To this, KE’s lawyer objected saying that reports regarding shareholders being from Mumbai were “incorrect”. “We have read this in the newspaper, we do not know the source [of the report],” CJP Gulzar told the lawyer. The CJP was again told that there was “no such thing” and that the shareholders had security clearance. “Corporate affairs are complicated, someone else is on the front and someone else behind [it],” insisted the top judge. Justice Ahmed said people were being allowed to exploit state institutions. “The government does not have the capabilities. All institutions are taking advantage of the government’s shortcomings,” he said. Irked at the situation, the CJP said all NEPRA and Power Division employees should be fired. “There is no point of having such employees.” The CJP remarked that half of Karachi is without electricity at night. “Every day I get calls and messages saying load shedding is happening three times a day.” He questioned the ownership of the electric supply company. “Who is the real owner of K-Electric?” asked CJP Gulzar. To this, the counsel for the power supply company, Ali Zafar, informed the court that the company has nine directors and that it is being run as a joint venture between Saudi and Kuwaiti business groups. Earlier, at the start of the hearing, the court had asked NEPRA why it was not providing 900 megawatts of electricity to the power supply company as per its request. “What did NEPRA do to add 900MW to the system?” asked Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan. To this, the court was informed by the NEPRA chairman that KE itself had taken a stay against the application. The NEPRA chairman conceded that handing over power generation, distribution and other components of the electricity supply chain to K Electric had been “a mistake”. “If you are creating an atmosphere for competition, make agreements that are in favor of the government,” observed Justice Faisal Arab in response to the chairman’s comments. He added that the Reko Diq agreement was an example for the country. Meanwhile, CJP Gulzar wondered why Shanghai Electric would want to invest in K-Electric when it is in such a bad situation. The attorney general told the court that Shanghai Electric remained interested in taking over the utility. “If Shanghai Electric takes over, they will have their own conditions. Then there will be a state within a state,” observed CJP Gulzar. He added that every institution in Karachi was in a shambles and no one was being provided any service. The court then asked the government to form a tribunal and asked it to submit a report within two weeks.