Govt challenges LHC’s decree of relief for sugar mills’ owners in SC

By: 24 News      Published: 04:28 PM, 10 Aug, 2021
Govt challenges LHC’s decree of relief for sugar mills’ owners in SC

The federal government on Tuesday challenged the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision to give interim relief to the sugar mills’ owners in sugar prices in the Supreme Court (SC), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In its petition, the government prayed to the court to declare the LHC verdict dated August 3 as null and void, arguing the decision pronounced by a single bench of the court could not be maintained.

It further argued that the high court had determined the sugar price under the Price and Control Act, which it was not authorized to do.

The government named owners of different sugar mills as respondents in the case.

In yet another development, the LHC on Tuesday barred the authorities from taking action against shareholders in the sugar mills owned by ‘estranged’ Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, and issued notices to the respondents, including the federal and Punjab governments, in this regard.

Two shareholders in Tareen’s two mills had challenged the government’s decision to fix the ex-mill rate of sugar in the Lahore High Court.

Justice Risal Hassan Syed of the LHC heard the petition filed jointly by Ali Khan Tareen and Maqsood Ahmed Malhi.

Deputy Attorney General Asad Ali Bajwa, who represented the federal government in the case, opposed the petition.

Speaking on the occasion, Bajwa said the government had fixed the ex-mill rate after listening to the viewpoints of the sugar mills’ owners. “The federal government completed all legal formalities while doing so,” he claimed.

He further said that by no means the petitioners were entitled to the relief they were seeking.

Speaking on behalf of the petitioners, Salman Akram Raja Advocate said that the secretary industries had fixed the ex-mill rate of sugar at Rs84.50 while the retail price at Rs89. 50 on July 30, 2021.

He further said that the government’s step had affected the applicants and that fixing the ex-mill rate was by no means legal.

Advocate Raja alleged that despite the fact that the high court had ordered listening to the viewpoints of the mills’ owners prior to fixing the sugar rate, no such thing was done. “Now the government has issued the notification of selling sugar at Rs89.50 which is not possible,” he said, adding that the LHC had already given relief to the owners 48 sugar mills in a case of the same nature.

Counsel for the petitioners appealed to the court to declare the government’s notification, dated July 30, 2021, as null and void.

 Reporter Malik Ashraf