LAHORE - Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court yesterday barred the Punjab Revenue Authority from collecting sales tax from two companies with directions to it to submit reply within two weeks.

Flying Cement Company and Telenor Pakisan had filed the petitions submitting that Punjab Revenue Authority had started issuing old notices again by changing dates. The authority had also got the act approved by the provincial assembly under which the all old steps taken by the chairperson had also been protected, the petitioners said.

They told the court that the authority had also started collecting tax on internet data services after amending the act through a notification. The power of imposing tax, they said, was of the parliament. They prayed to the court to set aside notices issued by the authority.

After hearing initial arguments, Justice Shah barred authority from collecting tax from the petitioners’ companies and directed it to submit reply with two weeks.

Meanwhile, the LHC restrained City District Government Lahore from suspending head mistresses of three schools and sought replies from DCO and Secretary Local government by March 4.

Kausar Shenaz, head mistress of Begum Kot Girls School; Mumtaz Bano, head of Shahdra Girls School; and Bhatti Gate Girls School’s head mistress Rabia Siddique had filed the petitions through their counsel. They argued that the CDGL had issued notices of their suspension while they had not been given the right of being heard.

They were accused of not using funds and other blames which had already been settled by the orders of the LHC, they maintained.

The petitioners prayed to the court to set aside notification of their suspension.

After initial arguments of the petitioners’ counsels, the court barred the district administration from suspending the teachers and sought replies from the DCO and secretary local government.

CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE ACT CASE: The LHC also sought replies from the federal and Punjab government on a petition seeking restoration of section 7 of Christian Divorce Act 1869 earlier omitted through an ordinance promulgated by then military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq in 1981.

Previously, advocate Hina Jillani was appointed as amicus curie (friend of court) to seek her assistance in the case. The court had also issued notices to Bishop of Pakistan Alexander John Malik and Bishop of Lahore Irfan Jamil.

A Christian man, Amin Masih had filed the petition through his counsel advocate Sheraz Zaka. The hearing was adjourned for March 28.