Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar’s recent statement regarding free electricity for judges in Pakistan has sparked controversy, as it appears to be at odds with existing policies and practices.

In a recent address, the Prime Minister asserted that only Wapda’s employees, including retirees, are entitled to free electricity, and this privilege is not extended to judges or other officials. However, a closer examination of the facts suggests that the Prime Minister may have been misinformed., according to Geo.

Contrary to the Prime Minister’s statement, serving judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in Pakistan enjoy the benefit of having their utility bills, including electricity, covered by the government. This includes both current and retired judges.

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For retired Supreme Court judges, the provision of free electricity extends up to 2000 units per month, while retired High Court judges receive 800 units per month without incurring any charges. The President and Prime Minister, whether in office or after retirement, are also entitled to free utilities, including electricity, without any specified limits.

It’s worth noting that even former President’s receive a monthly allowance of 2000 units of electricity, with the costs borne by taxpayers’ funds.

Additionally, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman enjoys similar privileges to those of a Supreme Court judge, which includes the provision of free electricity. However, there is no official confirmation regarding the entitlements of services’ chiefs as claimed by the Prime Minister.

The President’s Salary, Allowance and Privileges Act of 1975, amended in 2018, specifies in Section 7 that the actual charges for electricity and gas consumption shall be covered each year for the President. Similarly, the President’s Pension Act outlines provisions for electricity, gas, and water supplies.

The transparency of these policies was underscored in October 2020 when Justice Faez Isa and his wife disclosed their income tax and asset details. These documents clearly indicated that post-retirement benefits for a Supreme Court judge include 2000 units of electricity, 25 HM3 of gas, water, and 300 litres of petrol per month.

Furthermore, the High Court Judges (Leave, Pension, Privileges) Order of 1997 not only addresses the payment by the government for electricity, gas, and water but also states in Section 28 that retired judges and their spouses are entitled to certain benefits, including 800 units of electricity per month and 25 HM3 of gas per month.