In a significant ruling led by Justice Shahid Kareem at the Lahore High Court, a two-member bench has issued a judicious decision regarding notifications to fix sugar prices. The court, while considering the applications filed against the notifications, maintained that after the eighteenth amendment, the authority to set sugar prices rests with the provinces. The court further stated that post the eighteenth amendment, the power to determine sugar prices lies with the provincial governments. The ruling clarified that the federal government’s notification regarding sugar prices is null and void.
Addressing the applications submitted by sugar mills, the court upheld that after the eighteenth amendment to the constitution, the provinces have the autonomy to regulate and determine sugar prices. The court also declared the Federal Price Control Act of 1973 null and void within the limits of Punjab province, reinforcing the provincial government’s authority in matters of pricing and regulation.
The counsel for the petitioners argued that the federal government’s notification was based on unfair practices. However, the counsel representing the federal government presented evidence supporting the government’s complete authority to fix sugar prices based on Supreme Court decisions.
In light of the Supreme Court rulings and the constitutional amendments, the Lahore High Court affirmed the provincial governments’ authority to set prices, dismissing the federal government’s notification as contrary to the spirit of the constitution. This ruling underscores the division of powers as per the constitutional framework and reinforces the autonomy of provinces in matters of economic regulation.