SHC recalls earlier status quo in TMK sugar mills case

Karachi: Sindh High Court (SHC) has recalled its earlier status quo in civil suit pertaining to business dispute between Tando Mohammad Khan (TMK) Sugar Mills and Venus Chemicals (Pvt) Limited.

Sindh High Court Karachi issued this order in civil suit (2097/2015 and 2097/2015) for declaration, specific performance, permanent injunction and other relieves.

As per the background of the case, the plaintiff, TMK Sugar Mills Private Limited, in Suit 2096/2015 versus Venus Chemicals (Pvt) Limited has prayed for declaration that the asset purchase agreement dated 27.06.2014 between the defendant and the plaintiff is legally valid and binding on the defendant. They prayed to direct the defendant to perform its part of the obligation under the agreement dated 27.06.2015, and further prayed for permanent injunction against the defendant to restrain it from breaching its contractual obligations towards the plaintiff and from interfering with the plaintiff’s peaceful possession of the immovable property/mill/moveable assets.

It was also prayed that in the meanwhile, to restrain the defendant from threatening and harassing and breaching its contractual obligations towards the plaintiff and from interfering with the peaceful possession of the immovable property/mill/movable assets, and directing the parties to maintain status quo.

In the Suit No 2097/2015 it was prayed that the asset purchase agreement dated 27.6.2014 between the defendant and the plaintiff is legal valid and binding on the defendant; to direct the defendant to perform its part of the obligation under the agreement dated 27.06.2014; permanent injunction against the defendant to restrain it from breaching its contractual obligations towards the plaintiff and from interfering with the plaintiff’s peaceful possession of the immovable property/mill; and in the meanwhile, to restrain the defendant from threatening and harassing and breaching its contractual obligations towards the plaintiff and from interfering with the peaceful possession of the immovable property/mill and directing the parties to maintain status quo.

On 6.11.2015 notices were issued, till then parties were directed to maintain status quo. It was ordered to call report from SSP Tando Mohammad Khan with the direction that police shall not interfere with the business affairs of the plaintiff and defendant in any manner. Meanwhile, District & Sessions Judge Tando Mohammad Khan was directed to conduct a thorough probe with regards to the claim of the defendants that they have been deprived of their legal and valuable chattels which are available in the factory and plaintiff by force has occupied the factory of defendant.

The learned D&SJ Tando Mohammad Khan later submitted his report which prima facie reflects that at the time of the surprise visit of senior Civil Judge/Assistant Sessions Judge Tando Mohammad Khan, guards of Zardari clan were available there without showing their CINCs and service cards. The learned judge was also not allowed to visit the mill except the main portion (open area). In the report pertaining to Suit 2097/2015 it was mentioned that the main gate of the sugar mills remained blocked by the police for about 20 days.

The court order said the police also appears to have played a role in such control and possession over the Mills which prima facie is a patent exploitation of this court order; therefore, show cause notice should be issued to the directors of the plaintiff Company and SSP Tando Mohammad Khan that why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them, further plaintiff shall immediately release the possession of the defendants within three days. DIG Hyderabad was directed to conduct probe with regards to police aid to the private persons and illegal occupation of both factories and register FIR against responsible persons within 10 days, and allow the possession to be handed over to the defendant within three days.

Justice Salahuddin Panhwar in his verdict said that in matters of specific performance of contract, filed with reference to asset purchase agreement, the ingredient known as irreparable injury is not available with purchaser, particularly where delivery of possession is denied because money in such like matters may well be adequate one which ordinarily is sufficient to decline a relief of specific performance, as in the spirit of Section 12 of the Specific Relief Act. Therefore, the order to bring things to its original position as they were at the time of passing the order for maintain the status quo shall cause no harm or prejudice to the plaintiff. The plaintiffs shall have full and fair opportunity is establishing their cause and claims bit strictly in accordance with law. “In view of above earlier status quo order is recalled.”



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