LHC reserves verdict on 400 petitions against audit policy

Lahore—The Lahore High Court on Friday reserved verdict on more than 400 petitions challenging Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Audit Policy 2015. The single bench comprising Justice Shahid Jamil Khan heard the petitions filed by Nestle Pakistan and others. Earlier, the petitioners’ counsels arguing before the court submitted that the FBR had issued notices to the petitioners for sales tax, federal excise duty and income tax audit after selecting them through random computer ballot.
They contended that the selection had not been made as per directions of the court. They said that the LHC had already ordered the FBR to form rules for selection first and then initiate selection process. But the board made the selection without forming rules, they added. They further pointed out that many individuals including salaried persons were not included in the balloting process which was a violation of Article 27 of the Constitution. They pleaded the court to declare selection of the petitioners for audit invalid.
However, FBR’s counsel Barrister Asjad Saeed opposed the request and submitted that the court asked the board to form rules for selection, if it was considered necessary. He said that instead of forming rules, the board introduced the policy as it was easy to amend a policy than the rules in case of any shortcoming. He further said that the petitioners also failed to point out any discrimination in the selection process.—APP

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