The Importers and Exporters Association of Sindh has filed a constitutional petition in the Sindh High Court, challenging the infrastructure tax imposed by the city government. But it was disposed of on Monday by the SHC division bench of Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi.
The petitioners termed the tax arbitrary and said it was double taxation as a number of taxes were already imposed and being collected. The infrastructure tax was to be collected on all items coming in or going out of Sindh.
The bench directed the petitioners to follow an interim order passed on May 31 for an identical petition, until the order of that petition is decided upon.
According to the interim order, the importers and exporters were directed to pay the infrastructure tax 50 per cent in cash and 50 per cent in the form of a guarantee until the adjudication of the issue was completed – that is whether the city government can levy and collect such a tax.
Missing persons’ case
The same bench also sought comments from the Sindh home secretary, the Sindh IGP, the director generals of the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence in two weeks for a petition filed by Ayesha Afzal, the wife of Muhammad Afzal, who went missing on April 22. He went to offer his Isha prayers at the Madina Masjid, Boulton Market, but never returned.
The petitioner submitted that her husband might face a similar fate as his brother Saud Memon’s, who was allegedly involved in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Memon was moved to Guantanamo Bay. She submitted that Memon weighed 75 kilograms when he disappeared. He was found three years later, dumped outside his house, and at that time, his weight was only 18 kilograms. He died some days after that, she maintains.
The bench issued notices to the provincial and federal law officers.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.