LAHORE: Sugar mills owned by the Sharif family have brazenly flouted court orders and disregarded the ban imposed by the government on the establishment of new mills, the Lahore High Court observed on Saturday.
The Sharifs, the court stated, had not even bothered to seek permission for relocation under the ‘Relocation Policy’.
“If so, what precedent are they setting for others in the country?” asked the detailed order issued by the division bench in connection with the March 2 hearing.
LHC orders sealing of two sugar mills 'owned by Sharif family'
The bench was hearing intra-court appeals filed by the operators of the Sharif family’s sugar mills, who challenged a single-bench decision that had declared the mills’ shifting illegal.
Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills (Muzaffargarh), Chaudhry Sugar Mills (Rahimyar Khan) and Ittefaq Sugar Mills (Bahawalpur) had filed appeals.
Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who heads the division bench, stated that the ban imposed on setting up new sugar mills was interpreted by these companies (appellants) themselves to their own advantage, they ignored the relocation policy by stating that it did not apply in their case and paid little attention to the Supreme Court judgment in the ‘Tariq Khan Mazari case’ in which the ban was upheld.
“The appellants’ conduct amounts to taking the law into their hands or being the law unto themselves. This cannot be permitted in a democratic country governed by the Constitution and Rule of Law,” the verdict stated.
SC suspends operation of Sharif family’s sugar mills
At this stage, the bench observed, the court was not inclined to grant any interim relief to the appellant companies in the light of their successive violations of court orders and government policy.
The bench had already ordered immediate sealing of Haseeb Waqas and Chaudhry Sugar Mills. The bench is to resume its hearing on March 28.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2017.
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