LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday restrained the federal and provincial governments from taking coercive measures against vegetable ghee manufacturing mills with respect to enforcement of new prices.

The association of the ghee manufacturing companies had challenged a notification by director general Industries, Prices, Weights & Measures, the Punjab government issued on Nov 9 under Section 6 of the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 1977.

The counsel for the association said the respondent was forcing the mills to sell their product on a price not more than Rs180 per kg, infringing their fundamental right to life protected under Article 3 of the Constitution. He said the members of the association had the right to do lawful trade and they had fixed price of the product due to the free market economy with open competition.

The counsel argued that the impugned notification was based on ulterior motives and devoid of any justifiable reasons as the provincial government had no authority to fix price of the product.

Justice Jawad Hassan issued notices to the respondents and sought their parawise comments by Nov 29. The judge also restrained the respondents from adopting any coercive measures against the petitioners/mills till next date of hearing.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2019