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ISLAMABAD: Lahore High Court (LHC) has observed that the Federal Board of Revenue's refusal to provide detail of taxpayers who availed Tax Amnesty Scheme earlier notified by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif government vide SRO No 1065(I)/2013, may be challenged before the Pakistan Information Commission under Right of Access to Information Act, 2017.

It is reliably learnt that FBR has issued a refusal letter to the requester Advocate Waheed Shahzad Butt and states that Article 19A of the Constitution of Pakistan provides access to information to a citizen subject to restrictions imposed by specific laws.

Required information sought by you cannot be provided being confidential and protected under Section 216 of the Ordinance, 2001.

Sources told this correspondent that request was moved by the said lawyer who is also a petitioner before the LHC against the Amnesty Scheme introduced by the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vide SRO No 1065(I)/2013 dated 20.12.2013.

Said request has been refused by the FBR in writing while LHC vide order dated 30.03.2021 observed and states “This constitutional petition merely seeks a direction to the respondent No. 1, the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad to respond to the application which is placed as Annexure “C” with this petition. That application is a request under Article 19A of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 for providing information regarding untaxed/black money in the light of clause 86 of Second Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 issued vide notification SRO 1065(I)/2013.

The LHC further states, “It has been informed by the learned Asst Attorney General that the Commission is not complete to which the petitioner may apply.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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