ISLAMABAD: The federal government has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order which has prevented it from taking action against sugar mill owners in light of recommendations of the sugar inquiry commission.
According to reports, a petition filed by the government argues that the government cannot be stopped from taking action on the sugar inquiry report. The government has asked the apex court to declare the SHC order null and void.
The SHC had in its order stopped the federal government from taking action against the sugar mill owners who — according to an inquiry commission report — had allegedly minted billions of rupees by whipping up a sugar crisis in January this year.
Petition argues government cannot be stopped from taking action against sugar barons
The Islamabad High Court had on June 20 allowed government agencies to take action against the sugar barons responsible for shortage of the commodity earlier this year and dismissed a petition requesting the court to stop a crackdown started on the basis of the inquiry report.
While disposing of petitions of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and sugar mill owners, the IHC declared the constitution of the inquiry commission to probe the cartelisation and price hike of sugar lawful and also validated its proceedings and report.
In its order, the IHC declared: “The constitution of the commission vide notification, dated 16.03.2020, read with notification, dated 25.03.2020 and pursuant thereto its proceedings and report, dated 21.05.2020 have not been found to be ultra vires of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017 nor in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners. The report, dated 21.05.2020 was, therefore, lawfully considered by the federal cabinet in its meeting held on 21.05.2020.”
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2020