IHC maintains stay order in sugar mills case

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IHC maintains stay order in sugar mills case

ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday maintained its stay order till Saturday in a case challenging the sugar inquiry commission report.

Chief Justice IHC, Athar Minallah conducted hearing on a petition filed by 17 sugar mills against the establishment of commission to probe sugar crisis in Pakistan.

Sugar Mills' petitioner's lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan and Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan appeared before the court.

During hearing, the chief justice remarked that the federal government had constituted a fact finding commission, adding that how it was affecting sugar mills. The federal government was authorized to send the matter to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in accordance with the law, the bench observed.

Justice Minallah remarked that how the sugar mills association considered the whole practice as unfair, adding that the inquiry report was not a decision rather it was just a fact finding report which was not a bounding for the investigation departments.

He further observed that all relevant departments were free in their investigation and would decide after listening

all stakeholders.

 Suleman Akram Raja, pleaded before court that the report had alleged the sugar mills as sugar holders and mafia. He said that how a fair investigation could be ensured after leveling these allegations against his clients.

To a question by the bench, the attorney general contended that members of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)'s were included in inquiry commission due to having relevant expertise.

 Sugar mills' lawyer adopted the stance that his clients were being called as mafia despite the fact that the matter was subjudice.

 The chief justice asked that whether a forensic audit of all sugar mills could be conducted on basis of this report, to this the lawyer said whether the tax commissioner would be able to conduct free inquiry after the allegations.

The court maintained its stay order till tomorrow (June 20), the next hearing date wherein the two sides would continue their arguments.