Ministry told to verify record of Haj operators
LAHORE, June 21: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Thursday directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to verify tax and other business record of all previously enrolled and new applicant haj group organisers from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Inland Revenue department.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued this order while hearing a contempt of court petition against the ministry authorities for ignoring court orders about awarding Haj quota to new tour operators.
Representing the petitioners (new tour operators), Advocate Azhar Siddique submitted that the court had directed the ministry to also allot Haj quota to the new tour operators. But the ministry awarded quota to the previously registered operators only.
He said the ministry allotted quota to 721 old tour operators in back date after the court had issued a stay order. He said most
of the operators were blacklisted and not eligible for the quota.
The CJ ordered the ministry to hold the verification process at the Haj Directorate Office, Nicholson Road, and adjourned hearing till June 27.
Plea against Riaz: The LHC sought a reply from the Federal Board of Revenue on a petition seeking recovery of billions of rupees income tax allegedly evaded by Malik Riaz of Bahria Town.
A citizen filed the petition through Advocate Shahid Jami alleging Riaz evaded billions of rupees in income tax by not mentioning the actual price of land he purchased for his Bahria Town project.
The counsel said an FBR officer had already written a letter to the board chairman to this effect which proved that Riaz had not paid the tax.
He prayed that FBR be directed to recover the evaded income tax amount from Malik Riaz and deposit the same with the national exchequer.
The court directed the FBR to file a reply on the next hearing, June 25.
Tax on pools: The LHC restrained the City District Government of Lahore from collecting tax on swimming pools established inside homes and sought replies from the local government secretary and the DCO.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Mahmood Paracha who pleaded that the government had imposed Rs60,000 tax per annum on construction of swimming pools inside houses in violation of the local government ordinance. He asked the court to
set aside the said tax.
The court adjourned the hearing till July 9.