Qadri and Co staring at Rs 770m tax evasion case
Pakistan Awami Tehreek Dr Tahirul Qadri and office-bearers of his Tehreek Minhajul Quran are staring at legal trouble as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has finalised all the paperwork to implicate the reformist cleric and his aides in a Rs770 million tax evasion case against them, a local media report said on Tuesday.
According to the media report, FBR officials deliberately delayed serving notices to Qadri, offices-bearers, operators and members of Minhajul Quran’s board of directors in a bid to give them minimum time to respond.
The FBR issued notices to Qadri and 15 others in July 2014. These were delivered on July 11 and the last date to submit a reply was July 15. Surprisingly the second notice was issued on June 30 but delivered on July 18 and the last date to submit a reply was July 15.
The FBR issued final show cause notices to Qadri and others on July 16, which were delivered on July 18, and the last date to submit reply was July 21, Monday.
The report alleges that the whole purpose of this exercise was to “fix” Qadri and members of Minhajul Quran’s board of directors rather than to fulfil any legal requirement.
The second notice stated that failure to comply with any of its terms might result in an ex-parte assessment and might also render the recipients liable to penalty.
“In response to your (s) application for adjournment against the above mentioned notices you are therefore required to submit your reply before July 21, 2014. Please note that no further adjournment will be entrained,” the final notice read.
According to the report, a Minhajul Quran official identified as Muhammad Mustafa said that Qadri and the other officials had decided not to submit a reply to the notices because they believed the FBR was being used by the government for their political victimisation.