ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Islamabad High Court here Monday directed Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to immediately submit reply over its proposed decision to raise power tariff by 31 per cent on a plea filed by the NWFP govt. The single bench comprising Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam adjourned hearing till date in office after directing Syed Javed Akbar counsel for PESCO to submit reply.  Amina Suhail advocate for National Electric Power Regulatory Authority's (NEPRA) submitted a reply over the matter. In the written reply, NEPRA maintained that petitioner has no logical stand to plead the case. It said that Islamabad High Court could not hear matters related to NEPRA within its constitutional jurisdiction as the matter was already decided by the same court. The remedy was available to the respondent under the NEPRA Tariff Standard and Procedure Rules, 1998 (Tariff Rules), the reply said, adding, without availing it by the pleader, the IHC could not entertain the petition. It emphasised that petition was liable to be dismissed due to recent amendment in the Finance Bill 2008, as per the newly introduced provisions in section 31 of the Act was required to allow adjustments in the consumer end tariff on a monthly basis. NEPRA further stated that being a quasi-judicial body, it was exclusive regulator for the determination of tariff for power companies under the NEPRA Act with the approval of Federal government. The tariff petition filed by PESCO under the Tariff Rules was decided on February 23, 2007 for the fiscal year 2007-08 and allowed biannual adjustment in tariff due to fuel price variations, it added. On September 8, the same bench had suspended NEPRA's decision and issued notices to the respondents. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for NWFP government, had apprised the court that NEPRA recommended an unprecedented increase of upt to 76 per cent in power tariff for distribution companies of Wapda including PESCO. The increase was allowed on the plea of Pesco for increasing consumer-end electricity tariff and rates for security deposits, but Nepra granted the company greater relief than it had requested for by arbitrarily enhancing electricity tariff of different slabs to an amount much more than Pesco had asked for, he added. He said the announcement was illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and capricious against the principles of natural justice. Wapda and National Transmission and Dispatch Company was receiving hydel generated electricity in the NWFP at the rate of Rs1.01 per Kwh and were selling it back to the province six times higher, the petitioner had contended. He said that the people of NWFP had already been living under gruelling poverty and the increase in power tariff would be an extra financial burden upon them. Monitoring Desk adds: The Islamabad High Court Monday adjounred hearing of an intra court appeal against award of contract for construction of Munda Dam Hydro Project to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) till November 4 while retaining its previous stay of September 8. The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam and Justice Raja Saeed Akram Khan heard the appeal. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Munda Hydro Power Company Ltd, argued that they were not hampering WAPDA from the process, but they should not have created third party's interest in the project. He read out two different letters one from Private Power Infrastructure Board stating that WAPDA would not create third party's interest. He prayed to Court to dispose of the case. Gul Zareen advocate for WAPDA pleaded that the appeal should be dismissed as the project was in the prime national interest. He rejected that WAPDA had created third party's interest and was completing the project with the financial aid of Japanese government. Barrister Masroor Shah, counsel for WAPDA strongly objected to absence of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and requested that further adjounrments should not be granted as it was an important national issue.   The single bench of Justice Mohammad Munir Paracha on August 15 had justified Federation's decision to award contract to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and rejected plea for stay. But on September 8, the Single Bench of Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam had stayed the decision of Justice Mohammad Munir Paracha.         Munda Hydro Power Company Ltd and AMZO an American company had filed a civil suit for US $ 1.2 billion against WAPDA, Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Governments of Pakistan and NWFP. Senior Advocate Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for companies, had apprised the Court that in May 2004, the Government of Pakistan issued Letter of Interest to a US Company, M/s Amzo Corporation LLC for carrying out the feasibility study. Later, a special project company, Munda Hydropower Company Ltd, was incorporated. After investing US $ 15 million, these companies completed the feasibility studies and submitted with the Ministry of Water and Power, he added. He said the Government instead allowing the company to complete further stages of the construction, unilaterally handed it over to WAPDA. Pirzada contended that since the Power Policy 2002 contained assurances from the GOP in favour of foreign investors and the plaintiffs had legitimate expectation that all the stages of the project would be completed by them. Hence the WAPDA was illegally and unlawfully constructing the "Munda Dam", he added. Barrister Masroor Shah, counsel for the respondents argued that the plaintiff companies were not entitled to any equitable relief under Specific Relief Act, 1877. The Power Policy 2002 was only a guideline for investors and did not have any binding effect like a contract, he stressed. He produced judgment passed by the County Court of State of Maryland, USA whereby the partners of the Plaintiff Companies obtained injunctions against each other by alleging fraud and unfair means in the course of the execution of the project. He said that the entire country was in dire need of hydro power projects as it was confronting issues like paucity of water and flood mitigation, he added.