SHC dismisses petition challenging SRB show cause

SHC dismisses petition challenging SRB show cause

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) has dismissed a petition filed by Hum Network Limited for a grant of relief against a show cause issued by the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB).

A division bench of the SHC in a case C.P.No.D-3735 of 2016, observed: “We are of the considered view that instant petition is misconceived and not maintainable for having been filed on mere issuance of show casue notice, which prime facie does not suffer from any jurisdictional defect or patent illegality, whereas, the objections raised by the petitioner through instant petition can be agitated before the statutory forums while submitting the response/reply to the impugned show cause notice in accordance with law.”

Accordingly, the petition has been dismissed. The bench has also made reference to its short order issued on February 12, 2019, in the following terms:

“For reasons to be recorded later, the instant petition is dismissed along with the listed application for being not maintainable. The petitioner may, however, be at liberty to raise all such legal and factual grounds before the respondent, including the ground of jurisdiction, which shall be considered and decided by the respondents strictly in accordance with law, whereas, an opportunity of being heard shall be provided to the petitioner before passing any adverse order against the petitioner.”

Hum Tv Network, the petitioner, is a public limited company operating satellite TV channels engaged in the business of production, advertisement, entertained and media marketing, had challenged a show cause notice issued by an official of the SRB before the SHC on the ground that the same was malafide, illegal and was issued without jurisdiction and lawful authority.

The show cause notice was issued by the official of the SRB under Section 23(2) read with Section 23(1A) of the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011 for the periods from July 2011 to June 2012, July 2012 to June 2013, July 2013 to June 2014 and July 2014 to June 2015.

The petitioner prayed that the show cause notice was issued without jurisdiction and lawful authority, as the notice issuing officer belonged to Unit-21 Commissioner-IV, had not jurisdiction over the case as the authority over ‘Withholding of Sindh Sales Tax Act’ was with the Assistant Commissioner (unit-22).

The petitioner had also raised objection that in absence of any audit proceedings or inquiry pending against a registered persons, impugned notice cannot be issued.

The counsel for the respondents (SRB) argued that the constitutional petition was not maintainable against Show Cause Notice as the same had not suffer from any jurisdictional defect or patent illegality.

The SHC was informed that the petitioner had been given plenty of time on request of extension for reply. But the petitioner instead giving reply preferred to approach the court.

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