IHC rejects sugar millers plea against inquiry commission's report

Dunya News

LHC has allowed authorities to continue their action against people responsible for sugar crisis.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday rejected intra-court plea filed by association of sugar millers against report and constitution of the inquiry commission.

IHC, while announcing verdict on the plea, upheld the earlier decision of Chief Justice Athar Minallah and allowed authorities to continue their action against people responsible for sugar crisis.

Two-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Lubna Saleem Pervaiz announced the reserved verdict. The court stated that constitution and report of commission, formed to identify those responsible for the sugar crisis, cannot be declared null and void merely on suspicion of technical issues.

On the other hand, Sindh High Court on Monday declared report of Sugar Inquiry Commission null and void.

SHC, while accepting plea of owners of sugar mills, ordered that government can launch inquiry against the mills but report of commission should not influence the investigation.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sugar inquiry commission had claimed that sugar mills belonging to the families of the country’s top politicians including PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif, PTI’s Jahangir Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar, PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi and PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari were among the beneficiaries of the crisis.

In its forensic report – issued on May 21 – the commission had accused the sugar mill owners of earning illegal profits to the tune of billions of rupees through unjustified price hikes, benami transactions, tax evasion, misuse of subsidy and purchasing sugarcane off the books.

To stop government action, owners of the mills approached Sindh High Court, which stopped the federal government from taking actions against the sugar mills owners.

Later, federal government approached Supreme Court (SC) to challenge order of Sindh High Court (SHC). SC dismissed the stay order granted by the SHC and allowed the government to take action against sugar mills.

The top court granted three-week time to the SHC to issue verdict over the matter. The SC also directed the government to not take unnecessary steps against sugar millers.