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Lahore

October 20, 2016

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Pleas against govt’s power to impose tax on houses dismissed

Pleas against govt’s power to impose tax on houses dismissed

LAHORE

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday dismissed hundreds of writ petitions challenging Punjab government’s power to impose luxury tax on houses, however, the court annulled recovery notices issued to the petitioners on ground that the same were not issued in due course of law.

A division bench comprising Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi gave the verdict on petitions through a short order.

The petitioners through their counsel had contended that the government imposed luxury tax by amending Section 8 of Finance Act. They said the luxury tax was inconsistent with fundamental rights as guaranteed by the constitution and amounted to double taxing.

The petitioners submitted that the government was adopting coercive measures for the recovery of the tax.

They asked the court to set aside the notices issued by the Excise and Taxation Department and restrained it from recovering the tax.

The bench set aside the recovery notices, however, did not strike down Section 8 of the Finance Act.

murder trial: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Wednesday issued notices to the prosecution and defence on a petition filed by second husband of British-Pakistani 'honour killing' victim, Samia Shahid, for transfer of the murder trial from Jhelum to Lahore.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard initial arguments of advocate Malik Awais Khalid on behalf of the petitioner and issued notices to parties for November 4. The lawyer said petitioner Syed Mukhtar Kazim, also complainant in the case, had to leave the country due to serious life threats. He said Samia was murdered by her family members in the name of 'honour' and the suspects, including her father and first husband Shahid, were influential people of the city (Jhelum) and could affect the trial proceedings. He said the prosecution submitted challan against the suspects before Additional District and Sessions Judge Ambreen Qureshi of Jhelum. However, he said, the suspects were in a position to hamper the dispensation of justice. Joint Investigation Team formed in the case also recommended transfer of the trial from Jhelum, he added. Therefore, he requested the court to transfer the trial of the suspects to Lahore.

Samia Shahid, a dual national, had died in July this year when she came to see her ailing father in a village of Jhelum. Initially, the family claimed that she died of natural causes. However, Kazim alleged that she was murdered by her family in the name of 'honour.'

notice: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Wednesday issued notice to Punjab secretary schools (primary) on a petition of Pakistan Punjabi Adabi Board questioning ban on use of Punjabi language in a Sahiwal campus of a school chain by its administration. 

The petitioner-board through its counsel Tahir Mahmood Sindhu contended that headmaster of Sahiwal campus of the school system recently issued a circular against use of foul language by students during school hours. He said that according to the circular, the 'foul language' included taunts, abuses, Punjabi and hate speech.

The lawyer stated that the school administration by tagging Punjabi as foul language committed violation of the constitution that required the government to preserve regional languages besides the national language, Urdu. 

He said no language of the world could be declared foul. He said Punjabi was a widely spoken language of Pakistan and the school had hurt a large number of the country’s population by its 'illegal act'. He requested the court to set aside the circular of the school and direct the government to take action against the authorities responsible for demeaning Punjabi language. 

The chief justice heard the arguments and issued a notice to the secretary schools for November 15.

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