A SHC division bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Omar Sial announced the reserved verdict on a petition filed by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) against an inquiry commission formed by the government to probe into a sugar crisis that hit the country earlier this year.
The SHC declared report of Sugar Inquiry Commission null and void and also ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to carry out an independent inquiry as per law.
The federal government had made public a report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission on May 30. The report was uploaded on the Press Information Department (PID) website.
According to the report, the sugar mill owners had inflicted losses on sugarcane growers consistently.
The commission had also found irregularities in advance payments to farmers in the form of cash or commodity, which is tantamount to unregulated banking, whereas, the mill owners hurt farmers by indulging in informal banking and earned a profit of up to 35 per cent.
Later on July 14, the Supreme Court had nullified the Sindh High Court’s June 23 stay order that restrained the federal government from taking action against sugar mills in light of the sugar inquiry commission’s recommendations.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, allowed the federal government’s petition challenging the SHC order. It directed the government and relevant institutions to desist from unnecessary measures against sugar mill owners and take action against them as per the law.
The government through the attorney general for Pakistan had filed the appeal in the apex court, requesting it to set aside the restraining order the high court gave on a petition moved by sugar mill owners.