SC dismisses govt plea to set aside order barring action on sugar commission report

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed the federal government’s plea on Thursday to stop the implementation on the recommendations of the Sugar Inquiry Committee (SIC).

The apex court’s three-member bench under Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case Thursday on the plea filed against the Sindh High Court’s decision which had stopped the government from taking action against sugar mill owners held responsible for the sugar price hike earlier this year.

In Thursday’s hearing, the government’s lawyers asked the court to see whether the commission was impartial and also heard the stance of the sugar mill owners.

However, the AGP replied that there was no need to listen their stance as it was a fact-finding commission. He added that the report was an eye-opener, adding that all executive authorities have been activated against it.

The chief justice inquired as to how the SIC report can impact the mill owners, asking them about their concerns on the matter.

The CJP then turned to the lawyer for the sugar mill owners and asked him why he seeks a stay order as it was just a report by the commission.

Makhddom Ali Khan, the counsel for the sugar mill owners, then responded saying that the executive action has been challenged by some sugar mill owners in various courts. He added that reaching out to the high courts was not out of the ordinary.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed added that the situation was caused by the government itself as it opens an inquiry which leads to court cases.

Meanwhile, Justice Ahsan once again asked Makhdoom Ali Khan why the sugar mill owners approached the SHC after reaching out to IHC.

Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the Sugar Mills Association had approached the Islamabad High Court in its personal capacity and the commission only provided recommendations.

“If there are impactful fact-findings in any report then a claim can be made,” he told the judges.

To which Justice Ajaz-ul-Ahsan said that apparently the SIC did fact-finding and it identified ‘deal’ and several other aspects.

“If the state institutions issue show-cause notice then present your stance over there,” said the judge. �L=/�C�%@�v