LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday directed the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department to issue a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to Ramzan Sugar Mills for resuming its operations.

The mills, owned by the sons of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, through its secretary had filed a writ petition against the department for not issuing it an NOC. The mills through its counsel submitted that the excise department delayed the certificate on political grounds at the behest of the provincial government.

He pointed out that at least 12 NOCs had been issued to the mills in the past, adding the deputy commissioner concerned had approved the certificate, but the excise department was delaying it.

The counsel said the sugarcane crushing season was about to start and the mills would face a huge financial loss if the NOC was not issued at the earliest.

A law officer on behalf of the excise department had pleaded before the court that the reason behind not issuing the NOC was criminal cases pending against the shareholders of the mills.

He said a clean management in private companies was the mandate of the law.

Announcing a reserved verdict, Justice Anwarul Haq Pannun allowed the petition and directed the department to issue the NOC to the mills.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2022

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