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Pakistan

Upper house passes bill against oil and gas theft

RECORDER REPORT ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday unanimously passed 'The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011' to curb
Published November 5, 2011

pakistan-senateRECORDER REPORT

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday unanimously passed 'The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011' to curb theft of oil and gas in the country with maximum punishment of 14 years imprisonment and Rs 10 million fine to the person found involved in the crime.

The National Assembly had passed this bill on October 18, 2011.

According to the Bill, "(1) Any person who wilfully does tampering or attempts to do tampering or abets in tampering with a facility, installation or main pipeline for transmission or transportation, as the case may be, of petroleum, is said to be committing tampering with petroleum pipelines.

(2) Any person who commits or abets in tampering with petroleum pipelines for the purpose of,-

(a) Theft of petroleum; or

(b) Disrupting supply of petroleum, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to fourteen years but shall not be less than seven years and with fine which may extend to ten million rupees."

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain presented the Bill. The House passed the Bill with minor amendments.

According to the 'statement of objects and reasons' of the Bill, in order to maintain and ensure the smooth supply of oil and gas and functioning of the oil and gas pipelines and facilities akin thereto, it is expedient to create a comprehensive legislative instrument which can curb the practices of oil and gas theft and pilferage and abuse of lawful connections of oil and gas through numerous means, to provide for adequate punishment proportionate to the gravity of offences, to halt damage or destruction of oil and gas pipelines by acts of subversion and to protect the assets of national significance which are duly defined herein, this law is hereby enacted.

According to this Bill, new amendment about offence relating to oil and gas etc would be made in the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.

The Bill further says about 462C Tampering with auxiliary or distribution pipelines of petroleum - (1) Any person who wilfully does tampering or attempts to do tampering or abets in tampering with any auxiliary or distribution pipeline of petroleum not being a main transmission and transportation pipeline but includes a distribution system, distribution pipeline or any other related system and equipment, as the case may be, of petroleum is said to commit tampering with auxiliary or distribution pipelines of petroleum.

(2) Any person who commits or abets in tampering with auxiliary or distribution pipeline of petroleum for the purpose of,

(a) Theft of petroleum; or

(b) Disrupting supply of petroleum "Shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and with fine which may extend to three million rupees."

About 462D Tampering with gas meter by domestic consumer, etc:- the Bill says that "any person or individual being the domestic consumer who does tampering or abets in tampering with any gas meter, regulator, meter index or gas connection or any other related system and equipments, whether to commit theft of gas or for the purpose of unauthorized distribution or supply of gas shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees or both.

462E is about tampering with gas meter by industrial or commercial consumer, etc:- the Bill says that "Any person or individual being industrial or commercial consumer who does tampering or abets in tampering with any gas meter, regulator, meter index or gas connection or any other related system and equipments, whether to commit theft of gas or for the purpose of unauthorized distribution or supply of gas shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to ten years but shall not less than five years or fine which may extend to five million rupees or both.

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