LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Friday reserved its verdict on shifting of three sugar mills, believed to be owned by the Sharif family and their relatives, after counsel for all parties involved concluded their arguments.

Chaudhry Sugar Mills (RahimYar Khan), Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills (Muzaffargarh) and Ittefaq Sugar Mills (Bahawalpur) had filed intra court appeals (ICAs) challenging decision of a single bench that declared their shifting to other districts illegal.

JDW Sugar Mills of PTI leader Jahangir Tareen had agitated the matter of the Sharif family mills’ relocation before the single bench.

Hearing the ICAs, the bench comprising Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Shujaat Ali Khan had ordered sealing of the three sugar mills for their shifting to new locations in violation of stay orders. The bench also issued contempt of court notices to CEOs of the mills.

Against the shifting of the three mills, it had been argued that new mills were established under the garb of relocation.

Representing JDW sugar mills and others, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan argued that the relocation policy for sugar mills announced by the provincial government in 2015 was based on mala fide intention. He said environmental laws were also ignored in shifting of the mills. He said the appellant mills had been shifted in cotton growing areas, which would damage the cotton industry.

On the other side, the lawyers of the appellant-mills defended the shifting saying the whole process was within the law. They said no violation of any law was made by the appellants.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2017

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