LHC rebukes law officer for justifying sugar queues

Published April 22, 2021
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday rebuked a provincial law officer for equating the long queues of citizens in Ramazan bazaars for purchasing subsidised sugar with sales in Europe. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday rebuked a provincial law officer for equating the long queues of citizens in Ramazan bazaars for purchasing subsidised sugar with sales in Europe. — Wikimedia Commons/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday rebuked a provincial law officer for equating the long queues of citizens in Ramazan bazaars for purchasing subsidised sugar with sales in Europe.

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan was hearing petitions by millers against the government for fixing the ex-mill price of sugar at Rs80.

The other day, the judge censured the government for making citizens stand in long queues to buy sugar at subsidised rates at the Ramazan bazaars.

On Wednesday, the law officer told the court about steps taken by the government to ensure smooth provision of the sugar to citizens. He said special booths had been established in all Ramazan bazaars for sugar and flour. The law officer said it was a common practice that people thronged the markets whenever prices were lowered. He referred to famous annual sales in European countries.

Justice Khan admonished the law officer for drawing a similarity between the long queues for sugar and the sales in Europe. The judge observed that the sugar was a basic need of life and the government turned the citizens into beggars to buy the commodity. The judge remarked that the real problem was bad governance of the government.

The law officer complained that the mills also started selling sugar to the retail market instead of the government.

Justice Khan said the court could not stop the mills from doing so as the government had already been allowed to lift sugar at Rs80 to meet its demand. He also took notice of the overpricing of sugar in the open market and directed the government to apprise him of the price controlling mechanism. The judge would resume hearing on April 28.

The judge had temporarily allowed the government to lift sugar from the mills at the rate of Rs80 per kg to meet the demand during the holy month.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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