The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged to provide information regarding pendency of appeals before first appellate forum (Commissioner Inland Revenue-Appeals) under Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and Sales Tax Act, 1990 and revenue involved in these appeals.
It is reliably learnt that Advocate Waheed Shahzad Butt, Chairman LTBA-Public Interest Litigation Committee, has approached Jehanzeb Khan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, requesting him to provide information regarding pendency of appeals, fresh filing and disposal of appeals before first appellate forum (Commissioner Inland Revenue-Appeals) under fiscal statutes including Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and Sales Tax Act, 1990 and revenue involved in these appeals.
A letter addressed to Chairman FBR stated that the First Appellate Forum under the fiscal statutes i.e., CIR (Appeals) is the First Fact Finding Forum in the hierarchy of Taxation laws, therefore, it is bound to discharge its functions diligently.
Waheed further added that Judgment delivered after many months of hearing/arguments, tantamount to delivering judgment without hearing parties. It is settled law that no valid judgment can be given without hearing the parties. A judgment delivered after a long period of time after hearing the arguments is no judgment in the eyes of law. Reliance is placed on the judgment of binding nature issued by the Supreme Court: "In my view, the expression "not exceeding thirty days" makes it mandatory for the trial Court to render its judgment within the prescribed time period. If the same is not done, without a sufficient cause i.e. a cause beyond the control of the Judge, the judgment is impaired in value if not invalid and disciplinary action can be taken against a Judge who is found habitual in delaying his judgments beyond that period, obviously following proper legal steps for such action and in any case at least this vice of the judge must adversely reflect in his ACRs".
It is worthwhile to point out here that any action to provide an illegal benefit in any taxation matter is Corruption and Corrupt practice under NAB Ordinance 1999. This view point has also been confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2014 SCMR 585 and 2012 SCMR 1757.
At present, more than two (2) dozens RTOs, CRTO(s) & LTU(s) are working / operational across Pakistan headed by Chief-CIR(s). In the light of the said submission, the required information/data may be provided at earliest to unmask the systematic severe mal-administration of justice because a system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people: Waheed added.