ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the government over a plea seeking the declaration of an amendment of Income Tax Ordinance 2001 illegal that bared non-filers from purchasing a new car.
The federal government had made an amendment in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 during May 2018 while inserting Section 227-C in the Ordinance for broadening the tax base.
The amendment says, “Any application for booking, registration or purchase of a new locally manufactured motor vehicle or for first registration of an imported vehicle shall not be accepted or processed by any vehicle registering authority of Excise and Taxation Department or a manufacturer of a motor vehicle respectively, unless the person is a filer”.
According to the Finance Act 2018, the new Section 227-C of the Ordinance has imposed a restriction on the purchase of certain assets. Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, for the time being in force, any application or request by a person to any authority responsible for registering, recording or attesting transfer of any immovable property , exceeding Rs5 million for registering or attesting the transfer shall not be accepted or processed by such authority, unless the person is a filer.
Excise and Taxation Department Islamabad has declined to register or transfer a total of 4641 motor vehicles of the petitioner Amir Awan of Islamabad who is an authorised dealer of an automobile company (Indus Motor Company Limited).
Making Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Finance Revenue Division and Federal Board of Revenue Islamabad chairman, Vehicle Registration Wing Excise and Taxation Islamabad director general as respondents, the petitioner urged the IHC to declare the new Section 227C in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 illegal.
Terming the amendment against the constitutional guarantee for the fundamental freedom of business and trade, the petitioner made a point that amendment in the Ordinance was not applicable to the 4641 contracts of sale units which he already had finalized prior to May 23, 2018.
Appearing before a single-member bench of Justice Aamer Farooq in the matter, petitioner’ counsel, Babar Awan contended that amendment is contradictory to Constitutional provisions, adding the Parliament is supposed to make laws for the welfare of the public.
After a brief hearing of the matter, the bench issued notices to respondents of the case while asking the attorney general for Pakistan to appear before the court for assistance over the matter during the next date of hearing.
Later, proceedings of the case were adjourned for two weeks.