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2009 P T D 519

 

[Lahore High Court]

 

Before Khawaja Farooq Saeed, J

 

FARHAN-UD-DIN

 

Versus

 

PAKISTAN TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANY LTD. through Chairman and 2 others

 

Writ Petition No. 978 of 2007, heard on 3rd November, 2008.

 

Dr. Hameed Ahmad Rana for Petitioner.

 

Khawar Ikram Bhatti for Respondent No.2.

 

Zubair Khalid, Standing Counsel.

 

Date of hearing: 3rd November, 2008.

 

 

JUDGMENT

 

KHAWAJA FAROOQ SAEED, J.—The petitioner through this writ petition has challenged the levy of Central Excise Duty on telephone bills for the year 2006. The telephone bill enclosed with the writ petition is for the billing month December, 2006, and its date of issue is 12-1-2007 which was payable for 26-1-2007. The aforementioned bill in addition to P.T.C.L dues amounting to Rs.2582/43 also claims net Central Excise Duty at Rs.371/08 which is now being challenged through the present writ petition.

 

2. The arguments in support of the claim that it is unlawful is that the charge has been created under S.R.O. 617(I)/2000. Through the said S.R.O., the Federal Government in exercise of powers under section 3(1) of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (I of 1944) had specified excisable services on which Central Excise Duty shall be levied and collected as tax payable under Section 3 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. Through the said Act inter alia services provided or rendered by persons engaged in telecommunication work in respect of telephone and certain other facilities has been brought to charge. It is said that since charge was created on the services provided for telecommunication work with special reference to telephone and certain other items, the domestic consumer was not covered within the same. He, therefore, wants a direction to delete the said amount from the telephone bills and for payment of refund of already paid Central Excise Duty by the petitioner.

 

3. It was pointed out to learned counsel that the said S.R.O has already been superseded subsequently by S.R.O 503(I)/2004 and telephone and such other services had been specified separately by assigning them independent headings. The same has again been superseded through S.R.O 648(I)/2005 dated 1st July, 2005, wherein, the charge has again been confirmed against the telephone services separately and independently. The matter has not ended there. On 5-6-2006 the Federal Government through its Notification No. S.R.O 550(I)/2006 in exercise of powers conferred by section 7 of the Federal Excise Act, 2005, and in supersession of its Notification No. S.R.O. 648(1)/2005 has specified services mentioned in the Table therein, on which excise duty has been levied and is to be collected as it is a tax payable under section 3 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. The heading number now assigned is 98.02 and it covers all the telecommunication services. This is the Notification which in fact is relevant to the telephone bill impugned before this court.

 

4. It was pointed out to. learned counsel that the contents therein are very clear while he insisted that the same should be read in conjunction with the other heading. The argument is misconceived.

 

5. The Central Excise Duty has been levied and is to be collected on all the services, the heading number of which has been mentioned in the relevant S.R.O which is 550(I)/2006 in addition to such other earlier exercisable items. Thus, now it includes all telecommunication services and it applies on all its users. There is no discrimination in respect of domestic or any other consumer, hence, the argument is considered of no help. The writ petition, therefore, is dismissed.

 

S.A.K./F-2/L Petition dismissed.

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