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LHC suspends suo motu proceedings by FTO

LHC suspends suo motu proceedings by FTO

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has suspended suo-motu proceeding by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) allegedly initiated to benefit a renowned home-appliance company and sought replies from the federal government.

According to the details, Income Tax Commissioner Jibran Masood filed a petition against the suo motu authority of the Federal Tax Ombudsman.

Advocate Safdar Shaheen Pirzada argued on behalf of the petitioner that under Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance 2000, the ombudsman had no jurisdiction whatsoever to exercise suo motu power.

He pointed out that under Section 9(2) of the ordinance, the tax ombudsman was categorically barred from taking any action on a matter pending before a court of law. The counsel stated that a matter relating to tax evasion by the home appliance company was pending before the commissioner/petitioner and he being the competent authority decided it according to the law. The matter later landed in the Supreme Court where it was still pending adjudication.

However, he said, the FTO illegally exercised suo-motu powers and initiated proceedings against him. He asked the court to set aside the suo-motu proceedings initiated against him.

After hearing preliminary arguments, Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi issued a stay order against FTO suo-motu proceeding and sought replies from him as well from the federal government by April 25.