A notice was issued to the sugar mills owned by the Sharif family, as well as to Federal Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar, by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday in response to an application by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) seeking the dismissal of the mills’ petitions.
Barrister Ahmed Qayyum, appearing on behalf of the Competition Commission, contended that the petitions of sugar mills should be denied since the Competition Commission Appellate Tribunal has been established and because the petitions are being heard in the presence of the appropriate venue. It was brought to his attention that the petitions had been useless.
As a result, the petitioner’s attorney argued that, under the legislation, seven members were required for the appeal panel to be fully formed, although the tribunal now has just four members.
He stated that the Commission did not have the jurisdiction to take any action against the sugar mills until the process of establishing the Competition Commission was completed.
A previous court case had been filed by the Sharif family and Bakhtiar’s sugar mills in which they complained about the inadequacy of the CCP Appellate Tribunal’s members and challenged the show cause notice given to the sugar mills on the basis of the inadequacy of the members of the tribunal.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Ayesha A Malik requested a response from the sugar mills on the CCP’s plea and extended the stay order against the execution of the show-cause notices until a response was received.