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P L D 1989 LAHORE 121

PUNJAB CABLES

V/S

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

Per Rustam S. Sidhwa, J.
(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Art. 199(4-A), 73 & 78-

The fact that “State property” is dealt with separately, clearly shows that the general meaning is not intended. The words “relates to, or is connected with….assessment or collection of public revenues” are also significant, for they show that what is intended are revenues which are normally assessed, as such. If an order obviously relates to revenue, which is receivable in the established sense through some form of determination or realisation by way of assessment, as in taxation. Proceedings for confiscation of goods or imposition of fines or penalties for offences are not proceedings for assessment of revenue, in the established sense. A fine is not a tax levied. See Ark-Allis v. Jefferson County (34 Ark 307) and Corpus Juris Secundum Vol. 36A page 432. A fortiori, a penalty imposed for an offence, would also not be a tax levied. The words “collection of public revenues” must be read ejusdem generis with the words “assessment of public revenues”. In short “public revenues” referred to in Article 199(4-A) cover all types of income of the Government from sources akin to taxation which is receivable through some form of determination or realisation by way of assessment. [p. 130] H & I.

It was pointed out to the Court by the learned Attorney-General that the object of the said provision was to put an end to the gross abuse of the process of the Court by which enormous sums of money recoverable by the State as taxes were held in abeyance for indefinite periods as a result of stay orders which were generally secured by big industrialists and businessmen to the detriment of the public revenues. Agreeing with this view, the Supreme Court held that this was the mischief which the Parliament clearly intended to eradicate by restricting the duration of the interim orders issued by the High Courts. This case supports the above view that the prime intent of the Government is to realise taxes which are due and recoverable.

Rule 4-A of Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, which was introduced in 1976, is also on lines similar to sub-Article (4-A) of Article 199 of the Constitution. However, under Rule 4-A of Order meaning of the expression “public revenues” to include dues of any Bank owned by the Federal Government or of any Corporation or undertaking owned or controlled by the Federal Government or Provincial Government. No such Explanation appears under sub-Article (4-A) of Art. 199 of the Constitution. The words “Public revenues” as appearing in sub-Article (4-A), therefore, cannot be given any extended meaning to cover any income arising to Government out of fines and penalties.

Article 73 of the Constitution of Pakistan which deals with the procedure relating to Money Bills specifically defines what a Money Bill is. Under Article 73(2)(a) & (g), a Bill or amendment, for the purposes inter alia dealing with (i) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax or (ii) any matter incidental thereto. Under Article 73(3)(a), a Bill will not be deemed to be a Money Bill by reason only that it provides for the imposition or alteration of any fine or other pecuniary penalty or for the demand or payment of a licence fee or a fee or charge for any service rendered. Thus, a Money Bill imposing a tax could also, as a matter incidental thereto, provide for fine or other pecuniary penalty, in which case the whole Bill would be treated as a Money Bill, but if the Bill by way of amendment were only to provide for the imposition or alteration of any fine or other pecuniary penalty, it need not be treated as a Money Bill. Provisions dealing with penalties, fines and/or forfeitures in Statutes relating to customs and excise are ancillary and incidental to such Statutes. These provisions are incorporated to make the working of these Statutes more effective and complete. By virtue of Article 73(2)(g) of the Constitution, these ancillary and incidental matters become intra vires the Statutes they seek to serve. Other than this, the penalties, lines and/or forfeitures do not expand the scope of the expression “Public revenues” as appearing in Article199(4-A) of the Constitution. Article 78 which relates to the Federal Consolidated Fund and the Public Account also does not clearly define the expression “public revenues”. Under sub-Article (1) of Article 78, all revenues received by the Federal Government, all loans raised by that Government and all moneys received by it in repayment of any loan, form part of the Federal Consolidated Fund, whereas under sub-Article (2) of the Same Article, all other moneys received by or on behalf of the Federal Government or received by or deposited with the Supreme Court or any other Court established under the authority of the Federation, are credited to the Public Account of the Federation.
[p. 132] J, K & L.

In interpreting any particular provision of a law, income arising to the Government from various sources may be treated as the general income from different sources may be treated separately. [p. 132] M.

In the instant cases, assessment or realisation of customs duties etc., were never in dispute. The petitioners were prepared to pay all this. The dispute between the parties was whether new machineries had been imported, or used or reconditioned ones. The case of the Collector was that they were all old, used and or reconditioned. He, therefore, took up proceedings to determine this question and to confiscate the machineries, if they were old, used and/or reconditioned what was being considered was the question of confiscation of private property to public use, as a penalty for violation of the law. In these circumstances, the orders impugned in the writ petitions cannot be treated as relating to or connected with the assessment or collection of public revenues. [p. 132] N.

Applications dismissed.
Advocate for the Petitioner:
Afzal Elahi Chohan.

Advocate for the Respondent:
Sh. Maqbool Ahmad II, Standing Counsel for the Federal Government with Javaid Iqbal.

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