Farmers want to be made party in sugar commission case

IHC to hear grower's petition tomorrow

Saqib Bashir June 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to hear a miscellaneous petition of sugarcane farmers on Monday, according to the cause list issued by the registrar's office today.

The farmers have requested to be made party to the sugar inquiry commission case in the IHC. The case will be heard before IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

The petition, filed by sugarcane farmer Ahsan Abid Raees from Rahim Yar Khan, states that the farmers who have been most targeted by the sugar mafia should also be heard in the court.

The petition maintains that the sugar mafia infringed on the rights of the petitioner, and that the mafia's actions were in violation of rights preserved by Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Earlier, on Thursday, the IHC issued an interim stay order, temporarily restricting the government from acting on the recommendations of the sugar inquiry commission report.

Mill owners were directed to fix the price of sugar at Rs70 per kilogramme during this time, and they assured the court of the same.

The court is hearing the petition filed by the owners of 17 sugar mills including PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen and the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) against the commission’s report.

Notices were issued to Special Assistant to the PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, members of the commission including its head FIA Director General Wajid Zia and other officials seeking their response to the sugar industry’s plea.

Sugar mill owners have maintained that the inquiry commission exceeded its constitutional authority in the preparation of the report by trespassing into the domain of the provinces.

They also argued that the recommendations forwarded to the government by the commission did not fall within the ambit of the law.

Meanwhile, the federal government has decided to challenge the interim stay order issued by the court.

Apart from the SAPM on accountability and the members of the commission, the court also summoned the cabinet division and homes secretaries the Anti-Corruption Punjab director general, the Intelligence Bureau deputy director, and representatives of the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the State Bank and the Federal Board of Revenue.


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