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Only govt can decide on petrol rates: Court
April 24, 2017, 8:37 am
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The Court of Appeals overturned the verdict of the First Instance Court which cancelled Ministerial Council Decision No. 32/2016 on the petrol price hike. The higher court then affirmed that the Cabinet has the authority to take such a decision.

The court also rejected the appeal and request to declare the unconstitutionality of Article Two of Law No. 79/1995 on increasing service charges and other fees for the benefit of the State.

The First Instance Court previously ruled on the cancellation of ministerial Decision No. 32/2016 to increase the price of petrol in a case filed by attorneys Nawaf Al-Fuzei, Hisham Al-Baghli, Ali Al-Ali and Maha Shashtar against the Cabinet and the director general of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

In his statement after the verdict was issued, Attorney Ali Al-Ali announced he will challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision before the Court of Cassation.

He requested the Court of Appeals to reject the Cabinet’s appeal against the lower court’s verdict, arguing that the Cabinet’s decision was based on illegal procedures which led to the increase of fuel prices, given that the authority for taking such actions was in the hands of KPC established through Decree No. 6/1980 which gave the corporation sole mandate over issues like fuel price increase.

The government defended its decision by arguing that ministerial Decision No. 32/2016 is considered a recommendation not an administrative decision, indicating the litigant misinterpreted the law as the ministerial recommendation was described as a decision on which the fuel price hike was based. The government also argued that the litigant misinterpreted the law with regard to money earned by KPC as taxes; whereas any financial returns that got to KNPC is public money and not taxes.

This is in response to the defense panel’s invocation of Article 134 of the Constitution which states, “No general tax may be established, amended or abolished except through a law.”

In this case, the defense panel concluded that the decision of the government was not presented to the Parliament in order to be supported by legislation, let alone the failure to adhere to Article Four of Law No. 6/1980 on the establishment of KPC and its mandates.

Source: Arab Times

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