The 2014 court case seeking to have a declaration of who actually owns gas cylinders will be decided Friday, January 18 by Justice Chaacha Mwita at the Milimani Law Court.

The case filed by William Odhiambo Abok against the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Attorney General. It was initially heard by the Supreme Court Judge Isaac Leonala before his elevation.

The Petroleum Institute of East Africa was enjoined as an interested party. 

In the suit, Mr Abok is seeking declaration that sections 7 and 14 of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Rules are unconstitutional to the extent that they purport to vest ownership of gas cylinders, even after sale, to the brand owners like Total, K-Gas among others.

Should Justice Mwita agree with the petitioner, the matter of who actually owns the cylinder will be put the rest. Should he rule that the brand owners retain ownership even after sale, then ERC will have a mountain to climb in availing the funds that LPG marketers claim consumers only pay as deposit.

Either way, the ruling will complicate matters for firms which have exited the market without refunding the deposits and or collecting 'their' cylinders.

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