The Supreme Court has ordered National Refinery to pay Rs3.05 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for failing to pay Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) its dues on time.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case, filed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
It concerned a fine levied by SBP on National Refinery for violating a 1998 contract.
National Refinery’s lawyer had attempted to argue that SBP had not defined whether the payments were fines or penalties.
However, the court dismissed National Refinery’s appeal and upheld the fine imposed by SBP.
Representing the FBR, Siddique Mirza maintained that SBP had fined National Refinery according to the law.
He elaborated that the fine stood at Rs4 daily for every 10 tonnes delivered late, and informed the court that the SBP had had to make timely payments to Saudi Aramco in the form of foreign currency.
“SBP acted as a sovereign guarantee between National Refinery and the Saudi oil company,” the Chief Justice observed.
“SBP imposed lawful fines when the payments were not made on time,” Justice Saqib stated. “Previous courts made complicated judgments on the case,” he continued, “but the matter requires a one-line judgment.”