Sugar probe body report issue is before SC, SHC told

Updated 01 Jul 2020

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The bench put off the hearing for a date to be fixed by its office later and ruled that the earlier restraining order would remain in field till next hearing. — File photo
The bench put off the hearing for a date to be fixed by its office later and ruled that the earlier restraining order would remain in field till next hearing. — File photo

KARACHI: A federal law officer informed the Sindh High Court on Tuesday that the matter about the sugar inquiry commission was before the Supreme Court.

In the last hearing, the SHC had restrained the federal authorities from taking action against around 20 sugar mills of Sindh on a report of the sugar inquiry commission till June 30.

When the matter came up for hearing before the two-judge bench headed by Justice Omar Sial on Tuesday, an assistant attorney general informed the bench that the authorities had approached the apex court and sought adjournment till a Supreme Court order on it.

The bench put off the hearing for a date to be fixed by its office later and ruled that the earlier restraining order would remain in field till next hearing.

On June 26, the Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills and around 19 other mills of the province had moved the SHC against the report of the inquiry commission set up against cartelization and price hike of sugar and pleaded to quash the report.

Lawyer for the petitioners Makhdoom Ali Khan contended that the commission was not properly constituted in accordance with the relevant law and it included members who had already made up their minds against the sugar mills as they were also members of an earlier inquiry committee constituted for the same purpose.

He further argued that during the inquiry none of the petitioners was asked for information or clarification regarding the operation and business of their sugar mills and the commission had made observations against them which had an adverse impact on the business and reputation of the petitioners.

However, the federal authorities had approached the apex court a couple of days ago challenging the SHC order.

Initially the Islamabad High Court had also granted an interim stay order against the operation of the sugar inquiry commission report. However, on June 20 the IHC vacated the same and declared the constitution of the inquiry commission lawful and also validated its proceedings and report.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2020