ISLAMABAD          -     The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday issued notices to the respondents in Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA)’s intra court appeal (ICA) challenging a single bench’s verdict which had turned down its petition against the report of Sugar Inquiry Commission (SIC).

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the ICA and also summoned the attorney general for Pakistan to appear before the court to assist the court.

After issuing the aforementioned directions, the IHC deferred hearing in this matter till July 15 for further proceedings in this matter.

During the hearing, Makhdoom Ali Khan Advocate represented the sugar mills association while additional attorney general Tariq Khokhar appeared before the court on behalf of the federation.

The counsel for the association requested the court to declare IHC judgment dated June 20 as null and void. He further said that the commission submitted its report but there was no notification of its formation. The Additional Attorney General said that the notification of formation of the Commission was published in the Gazette of Pakistan on March 16.

Addressing the Additional Attorney General, Justice Aamer said that the March 16 notification will have to be presented to prove this claim.

He said that if the notification was issued in accordance with the law, the case would be concluded in minutes.

In this regard, a single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah had turned down the petition challenging the report of Sugar Inquiry Commission.

In the ICA, the PSMA particularly challenged the para of IHC single bench’s verdict, wherein, it had permitted the government to take action in this matter and declared the formation of the SIC as legal. In the said para, Justice Athar had noted, “The constitution of the Commission vide notification, dated 16.03.2020, read with notification, dated 25.03.2020 and pursuant thereto its proceedings and report, dated 21.05.2020 have not been found to be ultra vires the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017 nor in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners. The report dated 21.05.2020 was therefore, lawfully considered by the Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on 21.05.2020.”