SHC adjourns petitions challenging Sales Tax on services

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sind, comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Abdul Malik Gaddi on Friday adjourned hearing of sixteen constitution petitions challenging levy of Sales tax on services till May 25.

The petitioners include Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA), Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA), Surveyors and  Adjusters Association, Karachi Marriage Hall/Lawn Owners Association, Pakistan Stevedore’s Conference, Pakistan Publishers and Book sellers Association, Beauty Parlour Association and others .

Anwar Mansoor Khan advocate appearing for the KTBA said that lawyers are not selling their services but assisting the Courts. He referred to the Legal Practitioners Act and said he would be demonstrating the role of the lawyers. In addition if the petitioners subscribe to the Sindh Sales Tax Act (Tax on Services) 2011, lawyers would be subjected to “double taxation” which would be illegal by all canons of the law.

Sales Tax Act deals with the tax at the market price and Lawyers do not have any market price, submitted Anwar Mansoor Khan.

The bench inquired about the counsel for SHCBA, Mustafa Lakhani at which the bench was informed Mr Lakhani filed that petition, as he was the president of SHCBA at relevant time.

The bench noted that other petitions were also tagged and found that in fact Act 2011 was challenged in these petitions.

Anwar Mansoor Khan prayed to the court to separate the petitions filed by lawyers (SHCBA and KTBA).

The bench asked from other petitioners about ground taken by them. The bench later adjourning the hearing for May 25 asked the other counsel to file statement that ground taken by them is identical or otherwise their cases will be separated and heard as such.

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