Pakistan

LHC reserves verdict in Sharif sugar mills’ relocation case

LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday reserved verdict in a case pertaining to relocation of sugar mills owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, ARY News reported.

Petitioner’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan argued before the bench that despite the court’s stay order, Sharif family shifted its three sugar mills from one district to another in southern Punjab.

A divisional bench, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, was hearing Jahangir Tareen’s petition against relocation of the sugar mills.

The petition says that relocation of sugar mills to new locations despite the ban adversely affected the irrigation system and crops in southern Punjab, violating the court orders.

Ahsan argued that the ban was lifted for Sharif family without considering its impact on the adjacent areas.

“The south Punjab’s lands turning barren due to relocation of the mills”, Ahsan told the bench.

Joining the arguments, lawyer to Sharif family apprised the bench that it was not breach of law since government had issued a notification assuring permission was not mandatory for relocating mills within the boundaries of the province.

On the occasion, the government’s lawyer – Khawaja Haris – refuted petitioner’s allegation that the ban, ensuring relocating of sugar mills in other districts, was lifted to safeguard a specific group’s interests [referring to the Sharif family].

Hearing the arguments of the both sides, the bench reserved its verdict in the case.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Minister Punjab has been accused to breach the law by establishing three sugar mills despite a ban imposed back in 2006.

Earlier in March, the court had ordered to seal two of the three sugar mills owned by the Sharif family by also ordering suspension of crushing operations.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan earlier this year had passed orders to halt the operations in all three sugar mills.

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