Supreme Court restores taxes on mobile phone top-ups

06:56 PM | 24 Apr, 2019
Supreme Court restores taxes on mobile phone top-ups
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ISLAMABAD - Reversing another decision of former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restored all taxes charged by cellular service companies on mobile phone recharge.

A short order was pronounced by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa who remarked that the top court would not interfere in the matters of public revenue and tax collection; a three-member bench had earlier reserved the verdict.

The apex court also withdrew the stay order placed on the collection of mobile phone taxes and wrapped up the suo motu case; the chief justice recalled that the matter was brought into the notice of the bench through the Human Rights Cell of the top court.

During the hearing today, Justice Qazi Faez Isa questioned whether there was a precedent of using Article 184(3) of the Constitution in cases related to tax enforcement.

Meanwhile, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the collection of taxes from non-filers was a violation of fundamental human rights.

Former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice on May 3, 2018 about the matter. The former top judge suspended the deduction of sales tax by cellular service providers in June.

Mian Saqib Nisar - who is currently busy in raising funds for the Mohmand and Diamer-Bhasha dams - exercised suo moto authority under Article 184 (3) which empowers the apex court to pass any order to enforce fundamental rights, however, his decisions are being reversed now.