Gadoon Textile Mills Case: SHC raises issue of jurisdiction

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Nazar Akbar while raising a number of constitution petitions pertaining to tax on imported cotton raise the issue of jurisdiction and deferred further hearing as counsel for leading appellant sought time to seek instructions from his client Gadoon Textile Mills Ltd.

The petitioners/appellant challenge the levy of tax/duty at a rate of  5 per cent on imported cotton by Custom and tax officials  while according to petitioners/appellants, the rate of taxes/duty shall be of 1 per cent.

As the arguments progressed, the bench asked that the impugned notice was issued from Regional Tax Office (RTO), Peshawar and how demand was also raised from Peshawar. How can we exercise jurisdiction in it, the bench observed. The counsel for appellants submitted that import was recorded at Karachi and hence the issue of tax , levies also pertains to Karachi, hence SHC can exercise the jurisdiction. The petitioner has two mills one at Super Highway Karachi and another in Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate and therefore jurisdiction lies with SHC.

The bench however was of the view that it is beyond jurisdiction of the court. The counsel for Petitioner in view of objection raised by the bench as to its jurisdiction sought a short adjournment. The bench allowed the request and deferred further hearing to a date to be fixed later by the office of the court. The bench also tagged identical petitions/appeals to heard together.

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