Lahore: The Lahore High Court has declared the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) powers to keep the taxpayers’ audit information confidential as unconstitutional, according to a news source. The FBR had been granted these powers under subsection 1A of Section 214C of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.
All the notices sent to taxpayers under this subsection have also been declared unconstitutional. The said law has been deemed as being contrary to Articles 10-A and 19-A of the Constitution, which guarantee Pakistanis the right to a fair trial, and access to information.
Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh decided on the interpretation of law after hearing a number of petitions. The advocates representing the petitioners reasoned that the citizens cannot defend themselves in court if the parameters and details of their case are not apparent to them. Some also argued that this section infringes Article 18 of the Constitution, which grants citizens the right to conduct business.