IHC issues notices in petition against revised property tax in ICT

Respondents had challenged notification issued by MCI

ISLAMABAD   -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued notices to the Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), Election Commission of Pakistan and other respondents in a petition filed against revised property tax in the ICT and seeking local bodies election in the federal capital.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani issued the notices in two separate petitions moved by Air Commodore (Retd) Akhtar Nawaz Khan and Muhammad Daniyal Abdullah through their counsel Umar Ijaz Gillani Advocate.

In their petition, they challenged a notification dated 23.01.2024 issued by the MCI whereby property tax has been revised and applied to entire Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).  During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner contended that petitioner is resident of ICT, Islamabad and is aggrieved by the above referred notification which is disproportionate to the certain rights as well as principles settled in Section 88 of the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015. 

He further contended that Administrator MCI has no legal right to enforce impugned notification as his own status of Administrator is illegal which is not protected under the law. Gillani also contended that imposition of property tax could only be settled by elected local government of ICT, Islamabad whereby Election Commission of Pakistan has not yet announced the schedule of local Government election in ICT, Islamabad, therefore, action taken by the Administrator is beyond his legal authority.

Justice Kayani said in his written order that question raised needs consideration and issued notices to the respondents. He noted, “The Secretary Ministry of Interior, Islamabad as well as Election Commission of Pakistan, shall submit a concise report with reasons as to why they have not yet announced the local Government Election in ICT, Islamabad, especially, when this Court as well as Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan have already passed directions in this regard.” “The Administrator of MCI is also directed to submit legal authority under which he is performing his function including but not limited its own appointment,” said the court order. Later, the IHC bench deferred hearing of the case till May 20 for further proceedings.

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