LAHORE: In a landmark decision, the Lahore High Court has allowed hundreds of petitions by taxpayers challenging the notices issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) under anti-money laundering law.

While pronouncing the verdict reserved on the set of petitions, Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza on Friday set aside the impugned not­ices issued to the petitioners. The court had earlier stayed implementation on the notices as an interim relief to the petitioners.

The taxpayers submitted that FBR had issued notices to them under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 over missing details of bank accounts in income tax returns.

They argued that non-disclosure of bank details in the tax returns did not make it an offence under the anti-money laundering law.

Also, the petitioners reminded the court that the FBR lacked jurisdiction to invoke the law against money laundering in the cases from the period before 2020. The prosecution side further argued that the FBR had violated Supreme Court judgments by directly issuing the notices to the petitioners.

In his arguments before the court, the counsel for FBR opposed the petitions, insisting that the impugned notices had been lawfully issued to provide the petitioners an opportunity to be heard.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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