SC suspends SHC verdict nullifying sugar inquiry report

By: News Desk      Published: 04:18 PM, 2 Sep, 2020
SC suspends SHC verdict nullifying sugar inquiry report

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended Sindh High Court’s verdict of August 17 wherein the court nullified the constitution of the sugar inquiry commission and its report, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard the arguments of the attorney. 

“How can the Sindh High Court disregard the facts,” Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said during the case hearing. He said this is a matter of public interest and there is no interest of the federal government involved in it.

The Attorney General further said the sugar inquiry commission cannot be declared null and void just on technical errors. “The sugar inquiry commission only compiled a fact-finding report as there was no action yet taken in the light of the inquiry commission report,” Khalid Jawed Khan said.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said the matter should be investigated from different angles and relevant agencies including National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The federal government on 27 July moved the Supreme Court to seek suspension of the SHC’s Aug 17 order. Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan filed the petition that argued SHC quashed the notification constituting the sugar inquiry commission on pure technical grounds. However, the summary for appointing all members of the commission was duly approved by the federal cabinet, the attorney general argued in the petition filed on behalf of the federal government.

The petition pleaded that none of the sugar manufacturers, including the respondents, ever did or could claim lack of knowledge of the proceedings of the commission which also fully interacted with the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) of which the respondent manufacturers were members.

Besides the consumers, the petition said, there were thousands of poor growers of sugarcane who are also the aggrieved party as they had been consistently denied adequate payments for sugarcane grown by them with their untiring efforts.