SHC adjourns Regulatory Duty cases till Oct 16 DAG asked to bring the format of approval by the Federal government

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) directed a federal law officer to place before the court the format, minutes of the Cabinet or Agenda for approving imposition of tax, duty or other levies.

The bench was hearing identical petitions filed by Noor Enterprise and Hikmat Traders challenging the imposition of regulatory duty. The petitioners were represented by Sohail Hameed and Adnan Motan advocates who questioned the SRO 641 of 2018 and 1265 of 2018. The imposition of the RD on higher side will make the import and doing business impractiable in the country and while government can levy any duty or tax but “within reasonable limits” contended Sohail Hameed Advocate. The counsel also informed the bench that revenues officials are violating the Rules of Business and a Deputy Secretary signs the orders imposing duty and taxes while it was the sole domain of the federal government i.e Federal Cabinet. He relied on Mustafa Impex case. The bench after this statement asked the lawyer representing federal government to place before the court, the manner in which entire exercise was being undertaken including agenda, minutes of the cabinet meeting and subsequent decision. Khalid Rajpar advocate appeared for the respondents. The bench then fixed Oct 16 as next date of hearing.

The same bench also reserved order in a number of petitions pertaining to imposition of RD. Abul Moiz Jaffery, Rana Sakhawat, Ghum Hyder Shaikh, Miss Umber and others represented the petitioner companies/importer.

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