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Monday , September 27 2021

Govt appeals court ruling on decision to raise price of fuel

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 5: The government appealed, at exactly 11:30 am Wednesday, against the First Instance Court’s ruling on its decision to increase the prices of fuel. The court had earlier ruled that the procedures followed by the government in relation to the fuel price hike were illegal.

The court did not order nullification of the decision, but the government wants the ruling to be overturned and the lawsuit to be dismissed.

In previous sessions, Attorney Nawaf Al-Fuzaei accused the government of taking illegal procedures which led to the increase of fuel prices, given that the authority for taking such actions was in the hand of Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) established through Decree Number 6/1986 which gave the corporation sole mandate over issues like fuel price increase.

However, the government argued that ministerial Decision Number 32/2016 is considered a recommendation, not an administrative decision. It pointed out that the litigant misinterpreted the law, as the latter described the ministerial recommendation to be a decision upon which the fuel hike was based on.

The government also argued that the litigant misinterpreted the law on the money earned by KNPC as taxes, whereas any financial returns to KNPC are regarded as public money, not taxes.

This came in response to Al-Fuzaei’s argument, when he invoked Article 134 of the Constitution which states, “No general tax may be established, amended, or abolished except through a law.

No one may be exempted, wholly or partially, from the duty to pay such taxes except in cases specified by law. No one may be required to pay any other tax, fee or imposition except within the limits of the law.”

In this case, 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 4 of Law No. 6/1980 on the establishment of KNPC and its mandates.

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