SC fixes appeal against SHC verdict in sugar commission report

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ISLAMABAD : Supreme Court (SC) has fixed appeal of the federal government against invalidating sugar commission inquiry report for hearing.

The federal government had challenged Sindh High Court’s (SHC) decision of nullifying the report in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A three-member bench of the SC will take up the plea on tomorrow.The bench includes Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

On August 17, Sindh High Court (SHC) had nullified the sugar inquiry commission and its report and had ordered authorities concerned to conduct a fair inquiry into the matter.

A SHC division bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Omar Sial had announced the reserved verdict on a petition filed by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) against an inquiry commission formed by the government to probe into a sugar crisis that hit the country earlier this year.

The SHC declared report of Sugar Inquiry Commission null and void and also ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to carry out an independent inquiry as per law.

The federal government had made public a report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission on May 30. The report was uploaded on the Press Information Department (PID) website.

According to the report, the sugar mill owners had inflicted losses on sugarcane growers consistently.

The commission had also found irregularities in advance payments to farmers in the form of cash or commodity, which is tantamount to unregulated banking, whereas, the mill owners hurt farmers by indulging in informal banking and earned a profit of up to 35 per cent.