Notices issued under Anti-Money Laundering Act look flawed: LHC

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The Lahore High Court on Monday said that apparently it looks like that the show-cause notices issued in the anti-money laundering cases are not appropriate.

The high court was hearing petitions challenging call-up notices issued under the Money-Laundering Act.

The law officers from Inland Revenue and the federal government appeared before the court.

The court asked the lawyers of the petitioners to submit their replies to the court by next week.

While giving his observations, LHC Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza remarked that it appeared that the show-cause notices issued under the Anti-Money Laundering Act looked flawed. The rule is: first determine sources of money then start proceedings, the judge said adding that the FBR first lodged cases and then started determining sources of income.

Saying this, the judge extended court’s order that restricted the FBR intelligence to take final decisions on the call-up notices, besides extending another court order directing the FBR not to harass the petitioners.

Justice Mirza was hearing 300 petitions including a petition filed by the SM Group of Industries.

Syed Mustafa Naqvi, Murtaza Naqvi advocate and other lawyers appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioners.

The petitioners contended that if a tax payer did not declare his bank accounts, it did not come in the ambit of anti-money laundering case.

It was further argued that the FIR registered on the mere basis of bank accounts was violation of the Hudaibya Paper Mills verdict and Justice Qazi Faiz Isa’s judgement.

The petitioners said that the Anti-Money Laundering Act could not be used for the back-date cases.

The FBR’s I&I Inland Revenue does not have the jurisdiction to hear cases lodged in 2020, they said adding that they were issued call-up notices on the previous cases which were illegal.

 

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