ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the federal government’s petition to set aside the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order which has prevented it from taking action against sugar mill owners in light of recommendations of the sugar inquiry commission.
The three-member bench under Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the petition.
During the hearing, the government’s counsel asked the court to check whether the commission was impartial and heard the stance of the sugar mill owners which include PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.
The chief justice inquired as to how the inquiry report can impact the mill owners, asking them about their concerns on the matter.
Justice Gulzar added that the situation was caused by the government itself as it opened an inquiry that lead to court cases.
Government’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) had approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in 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 bench.
To which Justice Ajazul Ahsan said that apparently the commission did fact-finding and it identified a cartel and several other aspects. “If the state institutions issue show-cause notice then present your stance over there,” said the judge.
The CJP then remarked that so far no action has been taken against any sugar mill.
Justice Ahsan said that according to the commission report the sugar mills owners were not heard, adding that their rights will be protected.
The attorney general, in his statement, said that the commission pointed out political nexus, however, he believes that no medial trial should be carried out against anyone. “I have told the government not to give instructions to any institution over the matter,” he said, adding that he has urged the government to let the institutions work independently in this regard.
“The federal cabinet took back instructions earlier given to the institutions upon my recommendation,” said the AG.
He continued that the report brought forth the nexus behind the crisis, to which Justice Ahsan said that it seems that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other institutions lack capabilities to perform well.
After the arguments, the apex court subsequently turned down the plea and adjourned the case until July 14.