Reko Diq case: Supreme Court seeks details of agreement

November 30, 2012

KHUDAYAR MOHLA

Reko Diq case

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought details of the agreement between Mincor Resources NL and BHP that was to be operationalized through Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to explore gold and copper resources in Reko Diq located in Chagai district, Balochistan.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of Reko Diq case in response to identical petitions filed by Maulana Abdul Haque Baloch and others. The bench asked Khalid Anwar, the counsel for TCC, to complete his arguments by next hearing.

Resuming his arguments, Anwar told the bench that TCC was registered in 2007 in Pakistan and entered into an agreement in 2002. He further said that the exemption granted to TCC was extended after a passage of seven years. During the course of proceedings, Justice Gulzar Ahmad inquired from the TTC counsel if the Balochistan government had approved the merger between the TCC and the US-based BHP company. He observed that the TCC did not appear to be a direct party to the Reko Diq agreement.

Anwar stated that his client company had entered into the agreement as a representative of Mincor Resources NL on October 24, 2000. To which, the Chief Justice remarked that an agent company did not have ”absolute” power of the principal company under the law because it had certain limits. Anwar further pleaded that the government of Balochistan did not have to pay a single penny and on the contrary it would receive 52 per cent profit from the Reko Diq mining lease.

“The court is looking into all aspects of the instant matter,” the Chief Justice said, and added that all foreign companies were bound to observe local laws and local courts could have granted TCC a licence. He further observed that TCC could appeal against cancellation of its mining lease licence for Reko Diq in local courts. Anwar contended that his client was not seeking a license from the apex court and urged it to dismiss appeals as non-maintainable. The bench adjourned the hearing of case till December 03.

Courtesy: BR

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