ISLAMABAD: Cement manufacturers on Wednesday filed pleas in Supreme Court assailing Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict that had dismissed petitions of almost all industries challenging the establishment of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and the competence of the parliament to enact a law on the subject of competition.
Challenging the verdict that a three-member bench of Justices Ayesha A Malik, Shahid Jamil Khan and Sajid Mahmood Sethi had announced on October 26 last year, DG Khan Cement Limited and others urged the apex court to set aside the LHC verdict in the matter while granting them stay order against the commission’s actions.
The appellants claimed that the LHC has erred in failing to uphold their right to a free and fair trial under Article 10-A of the Constitution by unreasonably and arbitrarily refusing the request of adjournment by the petitioner’s counsel in light of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and domestic ban on air travel.
They further requested the apex court to decide a question of law whether the LHC has erred in failing to appreciate the substantial devolution of powers from the federation to the provinces via the 18th amendment to the constitution and thereby arrived at a conclusion which is diametrically opposite to what the intention was of the legislature in enacting the said amendment?
The appellants further urged the top court to decide whether the LHC has erred in disregarding the deliberate deletion of the entry relating to legislation in respect of monopolies and competition in the Federal Legislative List (FLL) of the 1973 Constitution.
They submitted that there was no entry in the FLL which allowed parliament to enact law on the subject of competition, adding that the parliament did not have the power to make laws on matters which were not enumerated in the FLL as the residue power was vested with the provinces after the 18th Constitution Amendment.
They submitted the FLL did not contain any entry on the subject of competition or monopolies or in any manner with reference to antitrust restrictions.