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IHC stops gov from taking action on sugar inquiry commission report

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

11th Jun, 2020. 01:16 pm
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The Islamabad High Court IHC issued a 10-day stay order and stopped the government from taking action on the sugar inquiry commission report.

According to details, Chief Justice Athar Minallah who was hearing a petition filed against the sugar inquiry commission report issued a 10-day stay order.

The IHC also issued directives for the product to be sold at the rate of Rs70/kg for the next 10 days.

During today’s hearing, one of the counsels for the sugar mill owners, Makhdoom Ali Khan, told the court that the Constitution has declared that the federation and provinces have different rights.

The lawyer told the court that an ad-hoc committee was formed in February to take action over the rising sugar prices. He added that the commission asked the federal government to carry out a forensic audit.

“The committee was formed on the recommendations of the commission,” said the lawyer.

To this, the IHC CJ asked the details about what the commission had said about the rising sugar prices.

“The commission, in a 324-page report, mentioned a lot of reasons [for the sugar price hike],” Khan told the court. He added that the commission had requested that action be taken against the FBR, FIA and NAB officials.

Justice Athar Minallah asked the counsel again about what the commission said regarding the sugar price hike. “Sugar is a necessity for a common man. The government should take measures in this regard.” To this, Salman Akram Raja, another attorney present at the hearing to represent a sugar mill owner, stated that the commission did not separate the use of sugar for the public and commercial purposes in its investigation.

Justice Minallah remarked that the price increased to Rs 85/kg in two years. He asked the federal government if it had any objections to the court’s decision to which the additional attorney general replied by saying that the federal government will not oppose the court’s order.

“A matter of public interest is being brought forward in this matter. The commission never addressed the reasons for which it was formed,” observed Justice Minallah.

The Islamabad High Court issued notices to the federal government, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shehzad Akbar and FIA Director General Wajid Zia.

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