LHC expressed dismay over behaviour of Ittefaq Sugar Mills
27 April, 2017
LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday expressed dismay over the contemptuous behaviour of the administration of Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills in Muzaffargarh and Ittefaq Sugar Mills and Chaudhry Sugar Mills in Rahim Yar Khan – believed to be owned by the ruling Sharif family and their close relatives.
The court directed Yousaf Abbas Sharif of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Shafi Meraj of Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills – the chief executive officers of these mills – to personally appear before it on May 8 and explain why sugar crushing had been resumed there in violation of a stay order.
The bench on Wednesday issued the notices after Barrister Ch Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen, alleged that the sugar mills of the Sharif family ignored the stay order and continued sugar crushing and other activities. He also submitted documentary evidence in support of his arguments.
He said that the bench, in its previous order, had issued directives for sealing the sugar mills but their managements violated the order. He submitted evidence, showing that the mills bought sugarcane from farmers and continued the crushing process.
The bench was hearing intra court appeals moved by the administrations of the two mills and the Ittefaq Sugar Mills, challenging a single bench order that had set aside the shifting of these three mills to new districts in southern Punjab. A single bench had passed the impugned decision in October 2016 on petitions filed on behalf of the administration of JDW Sugar Mills of Jehangir Tareen and others.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan will continue his arguments in the case today (Thursday).
The counsel, on behalf of the JDW Sugar Mills, had earlier said that the three sugar mills of the Sharif family completed their shifting process in blatant violation of stay orders issued by different courts. He had pointed out that Chaudhry Sugar Mills spent Rs 600 million on its relocation despite the stay.
He submitted a bank documents and photographs of the mills’ shifting process in support of his arguments. He had said that the relocation policy for sugar mills announced by the provincial government in 2015 was based on mala fide and even environmental laws were ignored in the shifting process.
He said that under Section 3 of the Punjab Industries (Control on Establishment and Enlargement) Ordinance, there was a restriction on establishment of industrial undertaking without provincial government’s permission.
He submitted that under this section, various notifications had been issued, imposing restriction on establishing new sugar mills in the province. He pleaded that it was the government’s consistent position that relocation amounts to establishing of a new industrial undertaking.