CJP admonishes FBR, orders to publish all orders and information on its website
Under Section 122 of the Income Tax Ordinance, the commissioner cannot delegate his powers to DC
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa says when the legislature makes a law, all and sundry are duty bound to follow the law.
The CJP gave this observation on Wednesday while hearing a review petition at the head of a three-member bench against the authority of the income tax commissioner regarding delegation of his powers to his subordinate officer.
Ordering the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) to upload all its orders and notifications on its website, the CJP observed that the working of the national agency should be transparent.
“If the working of the FBR will not be transparent, how will it command public trust? And if the FBR is not transparent, how will it persuade the people to pay taxes?” Chief Justice Isa remarked.
Dismissing the review petition, the CJP fined the commissioner for “wasting court’s time” and ordered him to pay Rs10,000 to a welfare organisation within a week and submit the receipt.
Earlier, the FBR counsel submitted that the Peshawar inland revenue commissioner had delegated the powers related to tax assessment to the deputy commissioner. Chief Justice Isa asked him under which law the commissioner could delegate his powers to a deputy commissioner?
The CJP remarked that under Section 122 of the Income Tax Ordinance, the commissioner was not authorised to delegate his powers to anyone.
The counsel for FBR replied that the order for transfer of powers was given [orally] but it was not published.
Chief Justice Isa asked him "why the FBR keeps its orders hidden. Isn’t it that the FBR does not publish orders to use them in specific cases?”
“This case is a classic example of wasting court's time,” the CJP observed.
The chief justice remarked that the Supreme Court had rightly said in its 2022 judgement that the commissioner could only determine tax and could not transfer powers.
The court ordered to send a copy of the Supreme Court judgement to the commissioner and said it should also be communicated to all the directors and officials of the FBR.