SC orders sugar mills to deposit cash

Deputy attorney general says cheques were being deposited in high courts

Our Correspondent September 02, 2021


The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed filing contempt cases against those not following its order on the issue of sugar pricing.

A three-member SC bench comprising acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Munib Akthar heard the federal government’s appeal against the Lahore High Court’s order on August 3 to grant stay to the sugar mills against the enforcing of the sugar price and recovering differential amount from them.

During the course of proceedings, the court ordered the sugar mills owners to calculate the difference in the rates suggested by them and the government. The court ordered them to deposit the excess amount in cash with the high court.

Justice Bandial noted that the court had directed mills owners to deposit the cash on a regular basis.
He asked the deputy attorney general as to whether or not sugar mills owners were submitting cash.

The deputy attorney general replied that cheques were being deposited.

The acting CJP observed that the mills owners had stated that they would deposit cash instead of cheques.

The lawyer representing estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen’s sugar mill told the court that his client was not a party in the previous case.

Justice Bandial noted that the present case was being dealt with in the context of the LHC’s August 12 decision, so now it would apply to Tareen’s mill too.

The acting CJP observed that the government should understand that the industry had to be promoted for the promotion of taxes and jobs.

The court disposed of the appeal by ordering the owners of sugar mills to deposit cash.

Last month, the court had conditionally allowed the sugar mills to sell the commodity at the fixed ex-mill rate of Rs97 per kilogramme.

It had ordered the sugar mill owners to calculate the difference in the rates suggested by them and the government and directed them to deposit the excess amount in the high court voluntarily.

The top court further declared that submission of surety bonds by the sugar mills was not enough and that the cane commissioner concerned should maintain a record of sugar stock and its sale.

Separately, the apex court also issued notices on making Covid-19 vaccine certificates mandatory for domestic travel.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Bandial heard a petition filed against making vaccination mandatory in the country.

Petitioner Sohail Mahmood argued that making the vaccine certificate mandatory was a violation of fundamental rights and Article 142 and other provisions of the Constitution.
Issuing notices to the respondents, the court adjourned the hearing of the case indefinitely.


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