KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has restrained the tax department from taking any coercive action against the petitioner and directed the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue Appeals-IV Karachi to decide the appeal of petitioner within four weeks. The court ordered this on a constitutional petition filed by M/s Altamash Institute of Dental Medicines, seeking disposal of its appeal over demand notice of Rs 220,334,805. A two-member bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi heard the constitutional petition.
During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner submitted that tax authorities issued an income tax notice of Rs 208, 974, 138 including (WWF) workers welfare fund of Rs11,360,667, to the petitioner. Being aggrieved, the petitioner moved the commissioner Inland Revenue Appeals-IV along with a stay application, however, stay application is still pending for disposal. However, during the pendency of such appeal, the respondents have initiated coercive action for recovery of the impugned disputed amount, which is subject-matter of appeal before the appellate tribunal.
He argued that a taxpayer, if aggrieved by an adverse order passed by revenue authorities, is entitled to seek remedy of appeal provided under the relevant statues by approaching the forums of appeal, therefore, the recovery proceedings initiated by the respondents department, under the circumstances, are based on mala fide.
After arguments, court disposed of the petition with directions to the respondents not to enforce recovery of impugned demand, which is subject matter of appeal before commissioner appeals-I till its final disposal, whereas, in case of any adverse order, if passed by the commissioner appeals, the respondents shall not enforce recovery of impugned demand for further period of 7 days from the date of receipt of such appellate order.
SHC also mentioned in its order that “it is expected that the appeals of the petitioner, if not disposal of so far by the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue Appeals-IV shall be decided within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of this order, which may be communicated to it in the counsel for the petitioner within one week”.