AJK HC issues stay order maintaining status quo over inquiry ordered by AJK PM against AJK IRD Commissioner Asim Shoukat;

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Altaf Hamid Rao.

AJK IRD Non-Gazetted employees continue pen-down strike 5th Consecutive Day demanding early arrest of the accused of abortive life attempt on Asim Shoukat,

MIRPUR (AJK),    (Parliament Times) : Azad Jammu Kashmir High Court, on a writ petition, filed by Commissioner Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of AJK government (Indirect Taxes) Mr. Asim Shaukat challenging the recent directives by the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan forming an inquiry committee to probe into the allegations leveled against the petitioner, has granted stay order with the orders to issue notices to the respondents for filing para-wise comments on the plea for grant of interim relief as well as objections on the suspension application on the next date of proceeding i-e August 19 this year.

The learned AJK High Court comprising Chief Justice Justice Sadaqat Hussain Raja, in its brief order says “Keeping in view the prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable loss likely to be caused to the petitioner, by dispensing with the requirement of Rule 34 of the High Court Procedure Rules, it is hereby ordered that status quo prevailing at the moment shall be maintained till next date of hearing”. “However, this order is subject to objections from the other side”, the learned court added.

The petitioner Asim Shoukat, Commissioner of AJK Inland Revenue Department (Indirect Taxes) had, through the writ petition, under article 44 of the Azad Jammu Kashmir Interim Constitution, 1974 in the AJK High Court, challenged the AJK Prime Minister’s directives dated 08.6.2021 – whereby a committee has been formed to investigate the allegations against him (Asim).

In his petition, the petitioner Asim Shaukat prayed to the learned AJK HC for the suspension of the impugned directives of the Respondent Prime Minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir dated 08.06.2021 till disposal of the writ petition.

The petitioner contended through the petition that he will suffer an irreparable loss if the impugned directives of the Respondent AJK Prime Minister dated 08.06.2021 are not suspended – since the applicant has, prima-facie arguable case, besides the balance of convenience also lies in his favor.

The learned court ordered to serve notices to all eleven respondents for filing the para wise comments on the application for grant of interim relief.

Besides the AJK Prime Minister, the respondents include AJK government through Chief Secretary of the State government, Principal Secretary to AJK Prime Minister, Chief Secretary, Government of AJ&K, Services & General Administration Department through Secretary S&GAD, New Civil Secretariat Chattar, Muzaffarabad, Secretary Services & General Administration Department, GoAJ&K, AJ&K Central Board of Revenue through Secretary CBR, Inland Revenue Department through Secretary Inland Revenue, GoAJ&K, Secretary Physical Planning & Housing, GoAJ&K, Commissioner Inland Revenue (Direct Taxes), AJK govt. , and Accountant Member Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue.

Seasoned Counsel Baber Ali Khan Advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioner.

As reported earlier Commissioner CIT IRD (Indirect Taxes) Asim Shoukat had launched a proceeding against Baber Taj, an entrepreneur, belonging to Muzaffarabad district, on the charges of counterfeit production of cigarettes and other alleged ill-deeds to skip the payment of due taxes pending against the business group.

Meanwhile, the non-gazetted employees of the AJK Inland Revenue Department continued their pen-down strike in various offices of the department in AJK, the 5th successive day on Tuesday, to register their extreme protest against the alleged life attempt on the senior officer of the department Commissioner Asim Shoukat besides to press the AJK government for early arrest of all of the accused involved in the abortive life-attempt incident.