Tuesday, January 31
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SHC to hear sugarcane price regulation case on daily basis

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday decided to hear a petition seeking regulation of sugarcane price in the province on day to day basis.

A division bench was hearing a petition regarding sugarcane price regulation as the growers had submitted that the sugar mills’ owners do not pay the rates fixed by the government as the minimum set rate was Rs182 per 40 kilograms. Besides, the growers said that the mill owners also did not follow the due procedure in the last crushing season as well and price regulation case was pending with the apex court.

The sugar millers had assailed the rates fixed by the government, maintaining that they would face severe loss, if buy the sugarcane on government-fixed rates (Rs182 per 40 Kg). The sugarcane growers and the mill owners had sought the interim relief from the court accordingly.

In Thursday’s hearing, the court expressed displeasure over the counsel of both sides as they started arguing in loudly.

“The sugar mills face Rs7million loss on daily basis due to this uncertainty,” the counsel of the millers said.

In a reply, the lawyer representing the sugarcane growers said,” It was the growers who were suffering the most, not the sugar mills’ owner.”

Asking both the lawyers not to argue loudly, Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, one of the judges of a two-member bench remarked that it was a tactic to pressurize the court. “We will not get in into anybody’s pressure and will decide the case as per law,” he added.

Adjourning the matter till Jan 15, the court decided to hear the case on daily basis from then. The bench also sought reply from sugar mills’ owners on contempt application filed against them.

In the last hearing, the SHC had directed the sugar mill owners to pay Rs.172 per 40 Kg to the growers until the disposal of the case or a next order regarding the price. “The contempt of court’s proceedings would be initiated against the delinquent sugar mills, if they pay less than the interim rate fixed by it,” the court ruled.