Contempt of court: ‘Impersonator’s’ apology found contrived, rejected

LHC ordered his name to be placed on the exit control list.


Our Correspondent August 03, 2013
He had allegedly impersonated the FBR tax chief at the July 19 hearing of a petition moved by several beverage companies against the imposition of capacity tax. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


The Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed an unconditional apology submitted by Punjab Beverage Company (Pvt) Ltd Finance Director Fayyaz Hussain, for ‘erroneously’ impersonating the Federal Board of Revenue Tax chief, and ordered the Ministry of Interior to place him on exit control list.


Hussain tendered the apology through his counsel Advocate Abid Saqi on Friday after he was issued a contempt of court notice on July 30. He prayed the court to accept the apology and recall the contempt notice against him.

He had allegedly impersonated the FBR tax chief at the July 19 hearing of a petition moved by several beverage companies against the imposition of capacity tax.

Hussain had allegedly impersonated FBR Tax Chief Ashfaq Ahmad Tunio in the presence of FBR’s counsel Advocate Muhammad Ilyas Khan.

Hussain submitted that at the last hearing, he had been called to the rostrum by Advocate Muhammad Ilyas Khan. The attendance slip submitted by Hussain made him out to be the FBR tax chief. Hussain said that he thought that he was being asked about who had issued the impugned order.



Advocate Khan told the court that Hussain had pretended to be Tunio, which was why he had been called to the rostrum. He said that during the course of hearing, Hussain had advised him to oppose the suspension of the impugned order.

He had said that recovery proceedings would not be initiated against the petitioners and that they would not be required to submit a declaration.

The court observed that the applicant had brazenly committed fraud by pretending to be the FBR chief tax. This fact had been corroborated by a statement by Habibur Rehman, a clerk at M/s Ali Sibtain Fazli and Associates, submissions by Advocate Ilyas Khan and the applicant’s handwritten attendance slip.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that the apology submitted by Hussain appeared to be contrived and did not inspire confidence. “The applicant’s conduct amounts to ‘criminal contempt’ according to Section 6 (1-c) of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003,” he said.

Hussain was issued a show cause notice. The court directed an additional attorney general to quicken the prosecution against him.

Hussain told the court that he was scheduled to leave the country on August 3 and produced a copy of his airline ticket. At this, the court ordered the Ministry of Interior to place his name on the Exit Control List till further orders.

The hearing was adjourned till Aug 6.

Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003

Section 6 (1-c): A criminal contempt shall be deemed to have been committed if a person commits any other act with intent to divert the course of justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.

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