ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court on Thursday while rejecting appeals challenging Lahore High Court decision, directed three sugar mills to transfer their setup from Southern Punjab to Central Punjab within two months.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the appeals moved by Sharif Family and other, challenging LHC orders.
In September 2017, the high court declared the relocations of Chaudhry Sugar Mills to Rahim Yar Khan, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills to Muzaffargarh and Ittefaq Sugar Mills to Bahawalpur illegal.
The court ordered that the owners of the mills return to their previous locations within three months. Later, three sugar mills , which are believed to be owned by the Sharif family, challenged the LHC judgment in the apex court.
During course of proceedings, Chief Justice remarked that all three mills violated the rules and cheated the judiciary by saying that there were planting a power plant there but the reality was that they had shifted mills machinery, he added.
We can order to initiate a criminal proceedings, however showing judicial restrain and ordering them to shift back their setup within two months and dismissed all appeals.
The bench however, said that mills owners might use their land for any other business but not for sugar crushing.
The detailed judgment with reasons would be announced later on, CJ remarked.
In December 2006, through a notification, the Punjab government had banned the setting up of new sugar mills and the expansion of the existing ones. The prohibition included the relocation of mills as well.
However, in 2015, the provincial government had amended the 2006 notification to allow relocation. This revision led to the relocation of said mills.
In 2016, however, Tareen challenged the relocation of the mills in the LHC, arguing that the amendment was only made to benefit the Sharif family and that the relocation was illegal.