LHC strikes down FBR notices in AML investigations

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LAHORE: While hearing identical petitions on Friday the Lahore High Court struck down hundreds of notices that Federal Bureau of Revenue has issued to various people in Anti-Money Laundering Investigations. Single-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza said while announcing reserved judgment in response to 382 petitions in the matter. Muhammad Mohsin Virk and other lawyers represented petitioners. “The non-disclosure of bank account details in tax returns is not an offense under AML,” the court order said. “The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) is not authorised to hear cases under Anti-Money Laundering that had been registered before 2020,” it added. TLTP
“The direct issuance of notice by the FBR is also a violation of the already issued court decision,” it stated. It is pertinent to mention that the bench has eserved the verdict in the AML call-up notices on June 30. As many as 382 petitioners invoked jurisdiction of the LHC assailing FBR notices served to them. Hearing the pleas, single-member bench of the Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza said the FBR was not competent to issue notices in AML probe without providing a valid justification. The bench accepted petitions against FBR notices in the matter whereas rejected requests to dismiss the cases registered by the FBR. The bench also declared that failure to provide details of bank accounts in tax returns did not constitute a crime and that the FBR cannot hear cases registered before 2020. The court further said that FBR violated the law by directly issuing notices.