LHC Restrains Punjab Govt From Forcibly Picking Up Sugar Stocks From Mills


LHC restrains Punjab govt from forcibly picking up sugar stocks from mills

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi has also stopped the provincial authorities from harassing and proceedings against the sugar mills.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Sept 28th, 2021) The Lahore High Court has restrained the Punjab government from forcibly taking sugar stocks from the Sugar mills till further orders on petitions filed by several sugar mills including JW Sugar mills owned by ruling PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Justice Muhammad Sajid Mahmood Sethi has passed the order after hearing arguments of the counsel for the petitioners.

“Do not forcibly pick the sugar stocks from the sugar mills, ” Justice Sethi directed the Punjab government. The judge also restrained the government authorities from harassing the sugar mills owners.

The judge directed the relevant authorities that the sugar mills owners should not be proceeded against and referred the matter to the court of Justice Shahid Jameel seized with the hearing of several petitions against sugar mills.

“Justice Shahid Jamil is hearing the matters of Sugar mills and it is appropriate that this matter should also be fixed before him for hearing, ” the judge remarked after passing the restraining order.

The petitioners through their counsel pleaded with the court that their matter was before Punjab Secretary food and he was hearing their stance but he deputy commissioner passed the order to pick the sugar stocks from their mills.

They said that the deputy commissioner ordered to pick up 1288 metric ton sugar from their stocks forcibly and a notification was also issued in this regard.

The petitioners asked the court to set aside the notification issued by deputy commissioners to forcibly pick up the sugar stocks from their mills as it was completely illegal and unlawful.

The development has taken place at the moment when the Punjab government wants to control the sky-rocketing inflation in the markets and wants to control the prices of sugar. At present, the sugar is being sold against Rs 110 in markets and shops across the province.

The government had earlier fixed the price of sugar and put its credibility on the line and risked another round of legal battle with the sugar industry.

The notification issued by the Federal government had asked the province to enforce sugar price and to ensure that the sugar should be sold at a retail price of Rs 89.5 per kilogram. In July, it had fixed the price at Rs88.24 per kg but sugar mills challenged it before the court.

The sources in Punjab Food department said that when the provincial government started to implement the price the millers became the major hurdle in the way. The district governments started operation against the millers and issued notification to pick up the sugar stocks forcibly from the sugar mills. The dealers and the retailers both are worried as they believe that their business would come to an end. The dealer believed that the millers would not sell it at the stated price and the dealers would either get arrested for selling at a higher price or quit the business. The retailers fear the worst: “We will get sugar at higher prices and be fined or arrested for selling it at the purchase price.” The consumers doubt the government has the resolve and wherewithal to get the decision implemented.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.