Friday, January 25, 2008

Musharraf's Supreme Court dismisses price hike case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a case pertaining to the price hike in daily-use commodities in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and observedthat it was not the job of the apex court to fix the prices of daily-use commodities.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Acting Chief Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, was hearing a suo motu case regarding the increase of prices of daily-use items. The bench observed that the suo motu did not fall under the jurisdiction of Article 184(3) of the Constitution and dismissed the case.

The Supreme Court had taken a suo motu action on June 27, 2007 on press reports, stating that the prices of the daily-use commodities had increased andthere was no check or control over them. The report was converted into a petition and fixed for regular hearing in the court on July 23, 2007.

On Thursday, the Attorney-General Justice (retd) Malik Qayyum, while appearing before the court, said the court could not influence the issues related to the market as it had no suo motu jurisdiction over such issues. Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, the counsel for the sugar mill owners while appearing before the bench, submitted that the NAB in its report admitted that an inquiry was initiated against those responsible of increase in the sugar prices but they had stopped the inquiry without nominating anybody.

At this, Acting Chief Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi said the court could not ask for initiation of inquiry against anyone as it was not the job of the court."It is the duty of the market forces to control the prices of daily-use commodities and not of the court," Justice Abbasi remarked while dismissing the petition.

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