by NEWSNER , 2020-12-14 16:58:11
The Kohima Bench of Gauhati supreme court has served notice to the govt of Nagaland on Friday after admitting public interest litigation (PIL) regarding the alleged rampant collection of taxes in Nagaland, filed by three social organizations - Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland, Public Action Committee (PAC) and Business Association of Nagaland (BAN).
The government, represented by the Chief Secretary, chairperson of Central Board of Indirect Taxes (Government of India), commissioner and secretary for Municipal Affairs, commissioner Nagaland, commissioner and deputy commissioner of taxes, administrators of Kohima and Dimapur municipal councils and therefore the director-general of police (DGP) Nagaland were named as respondents within the PIL.
Credit: NorthEast Now
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Filed:
The PIL, filed under Article 226, seeks the court’s intervention to pass necessary directives about “illegal taxation” collected by various government departments, Naga political groups etc. The petition mentioned that a representation dated November 25, 2020, was sent to the respondents for necessary action, but till date, no action was taken to resolve the general public grievances highlighted within the representation.
Illegal Taxation by Petitioners:
The petitioners maintained they weren't challenging the products & Services Tax or the other tax imposed legally under the provisions of the constitution. However, they stated the menace of “illegal taxation” prevailing within the state was creating fear and resentment amongst the businessmen and therefore the public, thus violating the elemental rights of the people to measure with dignity, to measure without worrying, freedom to profess any profession and therefore the right to equality and equal protection of the law guaranteed by the constitution also as by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Two-Bench Judge Served Noice on Friday:
On Friday, a two-judge bench of the Gauhati supreme court within the order served notices on the respondents, returnable within five weeks. While the senior government advocate accepted the notice on behalf of all the respondents, the petitioners were asked to require steps to serve notice to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes within three days.
Friday is that the last working day of the court, the matter is to be listed again after the winter vacation.
When contacted, consumer rights activist and ACAUT legal cell convener, advocate Kezhokhoto Savi said the three organizations had filed the PIL thanks to rampant taxation by both government and non-governmental bodies.
“For example, there's a standing government order on closure of all tax booths at check gates since 2017, but unauthorised tax collections are continuing in those places,” Savi said. With the matter being listed for further hearing, he was looking forward to a positive outcome which might help the general public at large.