Supreme Court of Pakistan has annulled the Sindh High Court’s stay order and allowed the federal government to initiate against the sugar mill owners in line with the recommendations of the inquiry report of the Sugar Commission.
Headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, the three-member bench of the apex court in its brief verdict has ordered Sindh High Court to decide the petition lodged by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA).
During the hearing of the case, Justice Ijazul Ahsan ordered government officials not to issue statements over the inquiry report of the Sugar Commission. Meanwhile, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel reminded the government to operate within the bounds of the law and asked to avoid taking unnecessary steps against sugar mills owners.
The three-member bench will issue a detailed judgment over the petition in the coming days.
Sugar inquiry report and action
On 20 February, the federal government had instituted an inquiry commission to investigate the shortage and subsequent price hike of sugar across Pakistan.
The Sugar Commission delivered its inquiry report to the federal government on May 21. The report identified violations of laws by sugar mills owners and recommended action against them.
However, the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) moved into the Islamabad High Court against the Sugar Commission and its inquiry report and contended to annul the formation of the inquiry commission. PSMA later approached the Sindh High Court.
Last month, the Sindh High Court issued a stay order against the inquiry report, prohibiting the federal government to take action the sugar mills owners.
However, the federal government challenged the stay order of Sindh High Court in the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, Islamabad High Court binned PSMA’s petition demanding to order the government to abandon action on the recommendations of the report.
Instead, the Islamabad High Court not only declared the formation of the Sugar Commission to investigate the cartelization and price hike of sugar as lawful but also validated its inquiry report and recommendations.