LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday summoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three close relatives including nephew Yousuf Abbas Sharif over relocation of Sharif Sugar mills despite stay orders which barred shifting of the mills to new locations in southern Punjab.
A petition was filed by Jahangir Tareen over violation of the court orders and stated that in spite of a ban, the sugar mills were shifted to new locations which adversely affected irrigation system and crops in southern Punjab.
The petition further stipulated that the ban on shifting sugar mills to other districts came into effect in 2006 and the Sharif family not only violated the ban but also illegally lifted the ban which have inflicted heavy losses to crops in southern Punjab as well as the irrigation system.
A division bench of the LHC headed by Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah heard the petition.
Jahangir Tareen’s lawyer Senator Aitzaz Ahsan apprised the bench the ban was lifted for Sharif family without considering its impact on adjacent areas, the southern Punjab’s lands turning parched due to relocation of the mills.
Listening to the arguments made by the lawyer, the bench inquired about the losses inflicted due to shifting of the sugar mills.
“A committee of experts should be formed to inspect the losses”, the bench said, adding, the court would ensure protection of public interest in southern Punjab.
Issuing notices to the premier’s nephew Yousuf Abbas Sharif, Javed Shafi and Haseeb Riaz – the court summoned their personal presence in next hearing by adjourning the session till May 8.
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.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court of Pakistan earlier this year had passed orders to halt the operations in all three sugar mills.
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. NNI