LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered on Thursday immediate sealing of two sugar mills, believed to be owned by Sharif family, which were shifted to new locations despite a restraining order.
The division bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah directed sessions judges concerned to seal Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills in Muzaffargarh and Chaudhry Sugar Mills in Rahim Yar Khan and sought a compliance report in this regard.
The bench was hearing intra-court appeals filed by the two mills and Ittefaq Sugar Mills, challenging a single bench that had set aside their shifting to other districts of south Punjab. The single bench had passed the impugned order in October 2016 on petitions filed by JDW sugar mills of PTI leader Jahangir Tareen and others.
SC suspends operation of Sharif family's sugar mills
During the hearing on Thursday, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan continued his arguments on behalf of JDW sugar mills stating that, the three sugar mills of the Sharif family completed the shifting in blatant violation of stay granted by different courts.
He claimed that Chaudhry Sugar Mills had spent Rs600 million on its relocation. He also presented bank documents and photographs of the mills' shifting process to substantiate his argument.
Ahsan maintained that the relocation policy for sugar mills announced by the provincial government in 2015 was based on mala fide intention. Environmental laws, he said, were also ignored in shifting of the respondent mills.
LHC declares sugar mills’ relocation illegal
The bench observed that the two sugar mills would remain shut until further orders and sought further arguments in the case on March 28.
On February 9, 2017, the Supreme Court suspended temporarily the operation of three of the Sharif family's sugar mills.
Similarly, on October 10, 2016, the LHC declared illegal the relocation of Chaudhry Sugar Mills, Ittefaq Sugar Mills in Sahiwal, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills in Nankana Sahib, Abdullah (Yousaf) Sugar Mills in Sargodha and Abdullah Sugar Mills in Depalpur to other districts.