LAHORE - The recent increase in petroleum prices has been challenged in the Lahore High Court through an application attached to an already pending petition on the same subject.

Lawyer Azhar Siddique has filed the application, submitting that petroleum products’ prices are revised every month by the Ministry of Finance and Oil & Gas Regularity Authority (Ogra). He said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued an SRO on Dec 31, 2017 “in exercise of powers conferred by clause (b) of subsection (2) and sub-section (6) of section 3 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990”. He pleaded that the Supreme Court had already disapproved taxation by the executive in cases of Engineer Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Senator Rukhsana Zuberi.

The counsel said that the federal government increased the prices of petroleum products illegally and against the Constitution, in view of Article 3 read with provisions of Sale Tax Act, 1990. He contended that the government cannot levy taxes more than 17 per cent but it has been imposing exorbitant taxes illegally, increasing the price of high speed diesel by Rs3.96 per litter, light speed diesel by Rs6.25, petrol by Rs4.60 and kerosene oil by Rs6.79.

The petitioner alleged that Ogra, in connivance with the FBR, Ministry of Finance and office of the prime minister, had been continuously exploiting public at large, as Article 3 of the Constitution does not allow any kind of exploitation, especially financial exploitation of citizens.

The petitioner alleged that the PML-N government had been hoodwinking the nation and not stating facts about decrease in the petroleum prices in the international market. He asked the court to declare null and void levy of sales tax on petroleum products.

SECP MEMBERS

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Monday sought reply from the federal government on a petition challenging appointment of Usman Yousafullah and Hafiz Yousaf as members of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The court directed the Federation to submit reply by January 17. The petition has been filed by Munir Ahmad, inter alia contending that Usman Yousufullah and Hafiz Yusuf did not qualify to become members of SECP. He submitted under the law only a neutral person could become SECP member.

CASE AGAINST RAILWAYS MINISTER

A sessions court here on Monday issued a notice and sought reply from Civil Lines SHO on a petition seeking registration of a case against Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique for passing remarks against the chain of command in the Pakistan Army.  The plea has been moved by Amina Malik, an activist of Civil Society Network, under section 22-A and 22-B of the Criminal Code of Procedure (Cr.P.C.). Her counsel argued before the court that police refused to lodge an FIR against the railways minister. Advocate Azhar Siddique represented the petitioner and told the court that Rafique in his recent statement targeted the institution of army. He said the petitioner filed an application with the police for the registration of a case against the minister but the SHO Civil Lines was not willing to do the needful under the law. He asked the court to direct the respondent to register a criminal case against the minister.

 

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