SC Allows Govt To Take Action Against Sugar Mills’ Owners


SC allows govt to take action against sugar mills’ owners

The top court has struck down a stay order given by Sindh High Court on government’s action against the mills owners.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-July 14th, 2020) The Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed the government to go-ahead to take action against sugar mill owners in the country here on Tuesday.

The top court also struck down a stay order by the Sindh High Court (SHC) given earlier on the government action against the mill owners.

During the proceedings, the Supreme Court directed the government not to take any unnecessary steps against the sugar mill owners at the same time.

“Islamabad and Sindh high courts should pass an order against sugar inquiry commission in the next three weeks,” the Supreme Court observed.

The top court in its order had barred the government representatives from discussing the sugar inquiry commission report.

SC dismissed the government’s plea to set aside order barring action on sugar commission report.

A SC three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad took up the matter on July 2 against the Sindh High Court’s decision which had restrained the government from taking action against sugar mill owners held responsible for the sugar price hike earlier this year.

The Attorney General for Pakistan had told the court that that there was no need to listen to the sugar mills owners' stance as it was a fact-finding commission. He added that the report was an eye-opener, adding that all executive authorities have been activated against it.

The chief justice inquired as to how the Sugar Inquiry Comission report can impact the mill owners, asking them about their concerns on the matter.

Makhddom Ali Khan, the counsel for the sugar mill owners, argued that the executive action was questioned by some sugar mill owners in various courts. He added that reaching out too the high courts was not out of the ordinary.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed added that the situation was caused by the government itself as it opens an inquiry which leads to court cases.

Meanwhile, Justice Ahsan once again asked Makhdoom Ali Khan why the sugar mill owners approached the SHC after reaching out to IHC.

Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the Sugar Mills Association had approached the IHC in its personal capacity and the commission only provided recommendations.

“Sugar mills will declare the report illegal and nothing else,” remarked CJP.

“Sugar mills have the complete right to defend themselves before the regulatory authorities,” remarked Justice Ahsan.

After the arguments, the apex court subsequently turned down the government's plea against barring action on the SIC report, adjourning the case until July 14.

Sindh High Court had suspended the operation on the Sugar Inquiry Commission report to the extent of as many as 20 sugar mills owners in Sindh.

Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills and others had filed the petitions challenging action of the Sugar Commission Inquiry Report.

The counsel of the petitioner had argued that the commission was not properly constituted per the relevant legislation. He had also argued that commission included members who were biased and had already made up their minds against the sugar mills as they were members of the earlier inquiry committee constituted for the same purpose.

The counsel said that none of the petitioners were asked for information or clarification regarding operation and business of their respective sugar mills while the Sugar Commission made observations against the petitioners.

The Sugar Inquiry Commission report held sugar mills owners responsible and suggested action against them.

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.