Supreme Court cannot suspend taxes: Justice Isa
Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s detailed verdict has explained why the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over tax suspension.
The detailed verdict has come out after Supreme Court restored all taxes on mobile top-ups that were earlier suspended by Saqib Nisar, former Supreme Court Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The case was initiated by Saqib Nisar in May 2018 on public complaints about the high percentage of taxes on mobile top-up through easy load or scratch cards.
According to Justice Isa, the verdict that suspended the taxes did not explain the reasons for doing so. It was also without jurisdiction.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, part of the three-member bench disagreed with Justice Isa. He was of the view that the court had every right to suspend the taxes under article 184(3). While Justice Qazi believed that a law had to violate a basic human right or go against the fundamental rights defined in the constitution of Pakistan to be declared null and void.
The function of the Judiciary is not lawmaking. The three pillars of the state legislature, executive, and judiciary have defined roles in the constitution. Justice Isa also stressed the point that suspension of taxes is the work of the legislature.
In Pakistan unfortunately constitution is taken for granted. Each pillar of state is more interested in doing the job that it is not supposed to perform.
Soon after General Pervaiz Musharraf took over the government, the Supreme Court gave him the power to amend the constitution. Supreme Court can neither legislate nor allow anyone to do so. There are numerous occasions in our history when courts and institutions misused their authority either to be popular or to support the status quo.