Per Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, J.
(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Articles 185, 77, 141, 142 & Fourth Sched,
Instant appeal have been filed by leave of the Court against judgment, dated 30th November, 1998 passed by Lahore High court in its Constitutional jurisdiction whereby Writ Petitions filed by the appellants before it were dismissed, therefore, vide order, dated 15th October, 1999 to consider inter alia following points leave was granted:—
“(I) Whether a levy known as “Corporate Assets Tax” imposed vide section 12 of the Finance Act, 1991 by the Federal Legislature, could be charged on the basis of gross value of assets inclusive of liabilities, under item 50 of the Fourth Schedule read with Article 77, 141, 142 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973?
(II) Whether the levy of “Corporate Assets Tax, in respect of value of assets held by a Company on a specified dated” as envisaged under section 12 of the Finance Act, 1991 falls within the legislative competency of the Federal Legislature?
(III) Whether the “Corporate Assets Tax” could be co-related to Article 70 of the Constitution and Entry No. 50 of the Federal Legislative List is contained in the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of 1973?
(IV) Whether the “Value of assets” implied gross value is distinct from and exclusive of the liabilities of the Company as shown on the Balance Sheet?
(V) Whether the levy is discreminatory as well as confiscatory?
(VI) Whether the demand of levy and or imposition of additional tax or imposition of penaty could be made by officer of Wealth Tax, under the Wealth Tax Act, 1963, in the absence of Rules to be framed under section 12 of the Finance Act, 1991?
(VII) Whether the demand of levy and or imposition of additional tax or imposition of penalty could be made by officer of Wealth Tax, under the Wealth Tax Act, 1963, in the absence of conferment of power by the Central Board of Revenue as per provision of the Finance Act, 1991 and or the Wealth Tax Act, 1963?” [p. 1212] A
In all the appeals identical questions of interpretation of section 12 of the Finance Act, 1991 is the subject-matter, therefore, we have proposed to dispose of them by this common judgment.