‘Evading taxes’: PHC stops authorities from taking action against petitioner

By Bureau report
February 29, 2024
A lawyer walks past in front of the Peshawar High Court building.— AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday restrained the authorities from taking any action against a petitioner, who had filed a petition for quashing a first information report registered against him for allegedly evading taxes, and directed them to submit a reply.


The PHC two-member bench comprising Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Arshad Ali heard the petition while advocates Shumail Ahmad Butt and Bilal Tangi represented the petitioner Noor Khawas, chief executive of business firm Premium Blanket.

The counsels informed the bench that the government had given incentives to petitioners under the Export Facilitation Scheme in 2021 under which tax-free raw material could be imported and then finished products and goods could be exported to earn foreign exchange for the country. They said that the petitioner also registered his firm and a certificate was issued to him for four years during which Rs8 billion raw material had been imported and products were being manufactured from the same.

However, they pleaded that the products could not be exported due to the volatile situation and closure of Pak-Afghan border at Chaman and Torkham points.

The lawyers argued that the goods were still lying at Chaman and Torkham border points due to which the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) conducted an audit of the firm and registered an FIR through the Customs Intelligence Wing for nonpayment of Rs8 billion taxes for four months.

They added that the case against their client was unjustified as the available record had shown the products were still lying at the mentioned border points.

They told the bench that the petitioner was dragged to the court despite repeated assurances to the authorities and actual situation at the Pak-Afghan border, which would affect investment in the country as well. Upon this, the bench stopped the authorities from taking any action against the petitioner and directed them to submit a reply.