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IHC reserves verdict on plea against sugar panel

July 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday reserved its judgment on an appeal of the Sugar Mills Association against the constitution of sugar inquiry commission.

A divisional bench – comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb – reserved the verdict after listening to arguments from the petitioners and the federation. Attorney general for Pakistan said the federal government had taken a bold step by constituting an inquiry commission to investigate the sugar scandal.

The court was authorized to ignore a minor mistake in issuance of notification, as it had no bearing on the commission's performance. The inquiry commission, he said, had discovered important facts during the probe. Makhdoom Ali Khan, the petitioner's lawyer, pleaded that only the Cabinet Division was authorized to issue a summary for such matters but the commission's notification was issued by the interior ministry.

He questioned transparency of the commission's work, adding that how it could perform fairly, as DG Federal Investigation Agency and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Interior Shahzad Akbar had already expressed their stances against the sugar mills.

The attorney general said the decision of the inquiry pertaining to the matter was taken by the prime minister and not by the ministry concerned. The prime minister, he said, was authorized to issue such orders of inquiry. After listening to the arguments, the court reserved its judgment and asked the two sides to submit their written arguments in the case within three days if they desired so.