IHC asks govt to expedite sugar cane crushing

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ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday sought comments from top officials of the government in response to a petition pleading necessary action against the authorities for using delaying tactics in starting the crushing season of sugar.

Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan issued notices to the Secretary Ministry of National Food and Security, Secretary Ministry of Industries, Chairman all Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and All Sugar Mills in Pakistan, and Chief Secretaries of all providences and sought their comments in two weeks.

The petitioner Advocate Shafqat Abbas filed a petition against the delay of sugar crushing despite the fact that the season had started. He maintained that farmers from across the country were facing problems against the sugar mills and government for delaying the sugar crushing season despite the fact that they were bound to start its crushing on first week of October.

He argued that according to the Sugar Cane Act 1934, the crushing season started in the first fifteen days of October, according to the West Pakistan Sugar Factories Control Act 1950, the crushing was to begin on the first day of October in any year, ending on June 30.

The petitioner informed the court that the sugar industry was the second biggest industry of the country which generated a lot of revenue every year. Its delay had not only affected the country but also poor farmerd who had to cultivate new crops of wheat and other items after its crushing.

He prayed the court to direct respondents to start the crushing season immediately throughout Pakistan as they were duty bound under the Sugar Cane Act 1934, and the West Pakistan Sugar Factories Control Act 1950. After the primary hearing the court sought comment from respondents.
Meanwhile in another case Justice Anwar Khan refused to entertain the application for an early hearing regarding the IHC additional Judge Azim Khan Afridi who had not been confirmed as a judge. Justice Afridi had submitted his resignation in last week, however his petition was pending before the court in which the IHC registrar had raised objections. In his petition Justice Afridi had challenged the decision of October 31, in which the Judicial Commission had not confirmed him as a judge.
Advocate Rafiq Khan on Thursday submitted a fresh application seeking the early hearing of his petition. However Justice Kasi refused to entertain his application and referred the matter to the IHC chief justice.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

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