Monday September 20, 2021

Technical officer as cane commissioner: SHC dismisses growers’ plea

September 10, 2021
Technical officer as cane commissioner: SHC dismisses growers’ plea

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has dismissed a petition of the sugarcane growers against the appointment of a technical officer as the cane commissioner.

The Sindh growers alliance had filed the petition in the SHC submitting that there were a number of senior officers, who can be appointed as cane commissioner, Sindh, however, neither the process for appointment of the regular officer was being initiated nor senior officer was being posted for extraneous reasons by the Sindh government.

Petitioners' counsel Mureed Ali Shah submitted that the technical officer does not qualify to discharge functions of the cane commissioner at the same time this was a classic example of favoritism and dishonesty, which was illegal, malafide and unconstitutional.

He submitted that the former cane commissioners had filed direct complaints against sugar mills on account of non-payment of cane price to sugarcane growers, however, cane commissioner Qamar Raza withdrew such complaints without approval of the Sindh government which is a violation of Section 22 of sugar factories control Act 1950.

He submitted that such withdrawal was without any inquiry or verification. He requested to the court to issue writ of quo warranto against appointment of technical officer as cane commissioner and direct the NAB to hold an enquiry against the Sindh government, the secretary agriculture in relation to frequent transfers of persons holding the office of the cane commissioner and former cane commissioner, who have misused his powers/authority with ulterior motives in collusion with sugar mills cartel so as to withdraw certain direct complaints filed for recovering the dues of sugarcane growers.

The court observed that the petitioners' counsel was unable to point out any order or notification as to the appointment of the technical officer as cane commissioner and demonstrate how a writ of quo-warranto would lie under the circumstances.

Regarding petitioner’s request to issue direction to NAB in relation to the allegations of misuse of authority, the court observed that if the petitioners have any material they are at liberty to approach the competent authority and place such material before that forum for consideration in accordance with law. The court observed that no directions as elicited are required from the court in this regard and dismissed the petition.