by Nayab T.
Friday, June 26, 2020 at 01:32 PM
The sugar inquiry commission report regarding the hike in the price of the commodity was challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC)
The owners of 17 sugar mills including the ruling party’s stalwart Jehangir Tareen and the Sugar Mills Association filed a petition in the IHC.
The petition requested the court to declare the commission’s report null and void and restrain the government from carrying out its proceedings.
The petition said that the inquiry report was “entirely unlawful” and it led to an “unwarranted campaign of vilification and demonisation” against the country’s sugar mills, adding that it denied the “right to due process guaranteed to them by the Constitution”. All sugar mill owners said that they are willing to “answer all questions of fact and law and face the consequences of their actions”.
The sugar inquiry report was issued on May 21, 2020. It revealed the way sugar barons had cheated farmers, benefited from subsidies and created conditions so that the price of sugar could go up. PTI’s Jahangir Tareen was among the ones accused of benefitting the most from the crisis. The report said that six major groups control 51% of the total sugar production. Tareen’s JDW mill has the biggest share that is 20% of the total production.
“The scope of the report exceeds the constitutional mandate and limitations of a federal inquiry commission and trespasses into matters within the exclusive legislative and executive domains of the provinces”, according to the petitioners.
The petitioners have asked the court to declare the report to be “unconstitutional, malicious, [and published] without lawful authority,” and stop government institutions and organisations from giving publicity to the claims made in the report.
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