KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Mahmood A Khan on Thursday fixed Jan 31 as date to decide dozens of identical petitions pertaining to Sales Tax.

As a battery of lawyers representing different petitioners appeared for their clients, the bench asked about the latest position after amendments introduced through Finance Act pertaining to tax laws. The bench observed that three remedies are available to the petitioners which are sufficient to stop tax officers from taking actions for coercive recovery of amounts due. These petitions involve collection of tax and we do not intend to keep the same pending. However the bench observed that main grievance of the petitioners were alleged highhandedness of tax departments who passes the order and the other day initiates coercive proceedings.

The lawyers requested for a short adjournment to consult amongst themselves and tentative order as spelled out by the bench. The bench giving its mind said that the respondents could be ordered to not to effect recovery till Commissioner concerned decides appeal or passes any interim order. The respondents were also directed that in the meanwhile they shall conduct themselves strictly in accordance with law.