The appellant has asked for the provision of the certified Rate-List of existing annual Land Lease/Rental compensation and temporary Land Acquisition Rated per Acre per Annum or hired Lands for Pipe Lines/ Plants/ Field of all the Regional / District/fields, per Acre permanently acquired by SNGC since 2016 and source of fixation of annual leases.
The primary question before the Commission, before proceeding further on merits of the appeal is to resolve whether the SNGPL is a public body within the meanings of the Act and this Commission holds the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal in hand. The version in the written reply of the answering organization is that SNGPL was initially incorporated as a Private Limited Company in 1963 and later converted into Public Limited Company in January 1964 under the Companies Act, 1913. It is engaged in the business of Transmission, Distribution and Sales of Gas therefore the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 is not applicable on it. Be that as it may, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) admittedly is the largest integrated gas company undertaking the public function by serving more than 5.3 million consumers in North Central Pakistan through an extensive network in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir. It is not denied in the reply that the organization was initially a Private Limited Company but later in 1964 was converted into a Public Limited Company and since is undertaking the public function of Transmission, Distribution and Sales of Gas. It is also admitted fact that the organization is funded by the government from the public exchequer and that government land is being utilized for the development of infrastructure and pipeline for the transmission, distribution and sale of the gas to the consumers. Last but not the least the government of Pakistan holds 31% of the shares in the Public Limited Company .Moreover this Commission in multiple appeals has considered the answering respondent as public body within the meanings of the Act which has attained finality. The Commission is therefore of the considered view that the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited is a public body within the meanings of section 2(ix) of the Act.
This Commission held that the appeal is not allowed. The Managing Director, Sui Northern Gas Company Limited is directed to notify the designated officer under section 9 of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 within a fortnight under intimation to the Commission.