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IHC halts govt from taking action on sugar commission report for 10 days

IHC halts govt from taking action on sugar commission report for 10 days
June 11, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court on Thursday halted the government from taking any action on the basis of the sugar commission’s inquiry report for 10 days. The 10-day stay order was issued by Chief Justice Athar Minallah who was hearing a petition filed against the sugar inquiry commission report. Mill owners have been directed to sell sugar for Rs70 per kilogramme until the next court hearing. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up the case today, in which the federal government, Special Assistant on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, interior ministry, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), FIA chief Wajid Zia and other departments were made respondents. Yesterday, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PMSA) and 17 other mill owners — including Jahangir Khan Tareen — challenged the sugar inquiry commission report in the IHC alleging that legal formalities were not fulfilled during the investigations conducted by the commission. The commission, in its report, has accused the sugar mill owners of earning illegal profits in the tens of billions of rupees through unjustified price hikes, benami transactions, tax evasion, suspicious sugar export deals, illegal power production, misuse of subsidy and purchasing sugarcane off the books. The petitioners have called for the sugar inquiry report released on May 21 to be declared void and the actions ordered by the prime minister in this regard suspended. The plea, filed by Advocate Salman Akram Raja, stated: "The scope of the Impugned report clearly exceeds the constitutional mandate and limitations of a Federal Commission of Inquiry constituted under the 2017 Act, as it trespasses into matters within the exclusive legislative and executive domains of the Provinces. The entire inquiry has been carried out in a completely illegal, unlawful, opaque, biased and discriminatory manner."