The Excise and Taxation Department (ETD) on Wednesday sealed a house for non-payment of property tax while the family were inside.
An ETD official the owner of the house, Muhammad Shafiq, a resident of Jameelabad on Sheikhupura Road, was reportedly a defaulter of Rs14,500 property tax.
He said Shafiq was issued final notice for the payment of the tax last week.
On Wednesday morning, a special ETD team raided the house and sealed it with the family of six inside.
Shafiq, who managed to jump over a wall and came out, said his family was still inside.
He told The Express Tribune that his house was on 2.75 marlas, and therefore was exempt from property tax under government rules. Still, he said, the Excise Department had issued him a notice for Rs44,000 as property tax.
“I repeatedly visited the excise office and requested several officers. Some of them took bribe and later reduced the demand to Rs14,500,” he said.
He said he had asked them for time to collect money from some relatives to make the rest of the payment, but they raided his house and sealed it instead. He said he was not informed prior to the sealing.
He has appealed the government functionaries to take notice of the ETD officials’ “high-handedness” and requested directions to the ETD to unseal his house.
He also requested the government to exempt him from the tax. He said he was a poor man and did not have the sources.
Shaikh Shoukat, an ETD inspector, said Shafiq had been issued several notices. He said the sealing of the house was lawful.
He said the Excise and Taxation Department official only sealed the front door as per the law. He said there was no restriction on the family.
He said taxes were imposed on properties bigger than three marlas. The complainant’s house was three marlas.
He said if the complainant had any objection to the assessment, he should have filed an appeal as per rules, instead of approaching officials directly.
He said the house will not be unsealed until the tax was paid.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.