Lahore: A Pakistani court on Thursday issued a notice to authorities in Punjab province to explain the ban imposed on the use of sugar in government offices to overcome a shortage of the commodity.
Justice Azmat Sheikh of the Lahore High Court issued
the notice after a lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed
a petition opposing the ban.
He described the measure imposed by Chief Minister
Shahbaz Sharif as "illegal and unconstitutional". The judge
asked the authorities to respond to the notice by the next
hearing on January 18.
The court also asked the authorities to explain why
they had failed to control the price of sugar.
The Punjab government had obtained about 20,000
tonnes from this quota, the letter said.
The petitioner contended this was a denial of the
fundamental rights of the people and an unconstitutional act.
"Tomorrow the government will ban another food item,"
He also asked the court to take action against the
Chief Minister for failing to act against hoarders.
Observers say the Punjab government resorted to the
ban after failing to control prices.
Sugar is currently being sold in markets across
Punjab at Rs 92 a kilogram, marking an increase of over Rs 20
in the average price about a month ago. In some parts of
Pakistan, the price is even higher.