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SC dismisses appeals against relocation of Sharifs’ sugar mills

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed appeals filed by the Sharif family challenging a Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict that ordered relocation of their three sugar mills to their previous location.

In September 2017, a bench of the high court ruled that all three mills – owned by Sharif family members – be repatriated to their previous locations within three months.

When the appeals came up for hearing today, neither appellants nor anyone on their behalf appeared before the bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.

The bench, therefore, dismissed the appeals over non-prosecution.

The chief justice observed that the verdict regarding relocation of the mills has not been obeyed. The court has to see whether to issue contempt of court notice or not over non-compliance of the order, he added.

Last year, a three-member bench, headed by then LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, had announced the verdict on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and JDW Sugar Mills owner Jahangir Tareen.

The bench then declared the relocation of the Sharif family’s mills in south Punjab ‘illegal’ and ordered all the mills – namely Ittefaq Sugar Mills, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills and Chaudhry Sugar Mills – be repatriated to their previous locations. 

Petitioner Tareen had argued that the mills were shifted to new locations despite a ban that had been previously imposed on relocating the sugar mills, violating the government’s own policy.

Previously, the Chief Minister Punjab was accused of breaching the law by establishing three sugar mills despite the ban back in 2006.

Earlier in March, 2017, the court ordered to seal two of the three mills owned by the Sharif family.

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