IHC accepts sugar mills' ICA against inquiry commission July 09, 2020

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IHC accepts sugar mills' ICA against inquiry commission July 09, 2020

ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday accepted an intra-court appeal of sugar mills association for hearing in Sugar Inquiry Commission case and sought comments from respondents, including the Federal Government.

An IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petition filed by the Sugar Mills Association against the June 20 decision of the single member bench.

During the course of proceedings, Justice Farooq asked whether the notification regarding formation of inquiry commission was published in the Gazette of Pakistan. To this Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar said it was printed on March 16. The court observed that the petition would be dismissed if the notification was published in the gazette as per law.

Justice Farooq asked the petitioner as to why they had not challenged the inquiry commission when it was working. He also asked if the sugar mills were summoned by the commission. The petitioner's lawyer, Makhdoom Ali, said only a few mills were contacted.

The petitioner's counsel pleaded that the inquiry report presented to the prime minister had been challenged before the single member bench. He said the prime minster had established an ad hoc committee to review the matter which had recommended for the formation of Sugar Inquiry Commission on March 9, 2020 and the notification for its formation was issued on March 16.

He contended that initially six members were included in the commission but there were signatures of seven members on the report issued by it. The government had submitted the notification of seven-member commission before IHC when his client challenged the matter.

He claimed that the single member bench announced the decision on same date and did not grant time to the petitioner to answer on it. The inquiry commission was not established in accordance of the law, he added.

After listening arguments from both sides, the court served notices to the respondents and sought reply till July 15.