The Supreme Court on Tuesday nullified the Sindh High Court’s June 23 stay order that restrained the federal government from taking action against sugar mills in light of the sugar inquiry commission’s recommendations.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, allowed the federal government’s petition challenging the SHC order. It directed the government and relevant institutions to desist from unnecessary measures against sugar mill owners and take action against them as per the law.
The SC also directed the Sindh and Islamabad High Courts to decide petitions by sugar mills within three weeks and restrained government functionaries from issuing statements on the sugar commission report.
The government through the attorney general for Pakistan had filed the appeal in the apex court, requesting it to set aside the restraining order the high court gave on a petition moved by sugar mill owners.
It stated in the appeal that the SHC had no jurisdiction to halt an investigation into a matter, adding the high court gave relief to the petitioners without affording it a fair hearing.
On June 23, the Sindh High Court had stopped the government from further action on the sugar inquiry commission report till next hearing. A petition was filed against the sugar inquiry commission report by Khairpur Sugar Mills and 20 others, which was taken up and further action on the report was temporarily halted.
The SHC sought an explanation from the sugar mills by June 30 while the petitioner has also been asked to explain why the matter was referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Shahzad Akbar.