LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday barred the Punjab Revenue Department from receiving tax from farmers on agriculture income.

Justice Ayesha A Malik passed the order and adjourned further hearing for Feb 3.

Iqbal Ahmad and other farmers had filed petitions submitting that they had been paying agriculture tax to Federal Board of Revenue. They said despite regular payment of the tax to FBR, the revenue department had been issuing them notices for the recovery of agriculture tax.

The petitioners said the notices issued by the revenue department amounted to double taxing that was illegal. They said the department was not authorized for the collection of the tax on agriculture income.

They prayed to the court to set aside the notices issued by the department for the recovery of tax being illegal and without lawful jurisdiction.

Babus summoned: The Lahore High Court summoned for today the commissioners and land acquisition collectors of Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala divisions to explain emergency being imposed to acquire land for development projects in different cities.

A full bench headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza passed the order on several petitions challenging acquisition of land on emergency basis for development projects.

The petitioners’ counsel told the bench that the government had imposed emergency to acquire land and was not giving appropriate compensations for their lands.

The counsels said the government was building Ring Road on Multan Road and forcing people to leave their houses and shops immediately. Aashiana Housing, Degree College for Women, Narowal, District Hospital Bhawana Siakot and other projects were being built, they said.

They submitted that the notifications issued to the citizens did not show any reason behind emergency imposed for acquiring land. People were losing their houses and shops but unfortunately the government was not doing any thing for the affectees, they said.

Advocate Ahmad Owaise, legal advisor of the Ring road, told the bench that the ring road project was initiated in 2005 but the international organizations gave funds now and pressurizing the government to build this project immediately.

PLGO case: The Lahore High Court yesterday directed the Punjab government to submit reply within a week on a petition filed by Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) against the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance 2016.

Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) challenged Punjab Local Government (amended) Ordinance 2016 before the Lahore High Court.

PAT secretary information Noorullah Siddiqi filed the petition submitting that that the current LG Ordinance changed method of electing mayors/deputy mayors from “secret ballot” to “show of hand” besides other changes in the relevant law.

The petitioner pointed out that the current law kept the independent candidates under the influence of the ruling party (PML-N) and subjected them to legislative coercion. He submitted that Article 226 of the Constitution suggested secret process of election which negated influence of any individual or party.

The petitioner contended that the method of open division (show of hand) while electing the chairman/mayors was a potentially dangerous method for the independent candidates with weaker limb as opposed to the major political players in higher elections.

The post legislative strategy of the provincial government to manipulate results of the election by substantial changes was highly objectionable, and contrary to the Constitution, said the petitioner.

He requested the court to declare the impugned amendments in the law null and void and bar ECP from conducting the forthcoming elections for the reserved seats as well as mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen, vice chairmen of the district councils under the impugned ordinance.

PAT was the fourth political party after PTI, PPP and PML_Q which had challenged Local Government (amended) Ordinance 2016.

In another case, the Lahore High Court issued notices on a petition seeking suspension of of the procedure for appointment of a board of governor for Quaid-e-Azam library. Judge sought reply from Punjab government, chief secretary, higher education commission and others till February 11.