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P L D 2005 KARACHI 55

QUETTA TEXTILE MILLS LIMITED
V/S
PROVINCE OF SINDH THROUGH SECRETARY EXCISE AND TAXATION
Per Mushir Alam, J-Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 25-

Article 25 of the Constitution, guarantees equal protection and like treatment to all placed in a similar situation.

Expression “Equal protection of law” envisaged by Article 25 ibid, had always engaged attention of Jurists and Courts of law. History could be traced from coveted last Sermon of Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) delivered 1400 years back. (For illuminating discussion, see 1991 CLC 13). Such principle more recently echoed in I.A. Sherwani case (1991 SCMR 1086). Reasonable classification has always been considered permissible, provided such classification is based on reasonable and rational categorization, it may not be arbitrary or artificial, must be evenly applicable to all persons or goods similarly situated or placed.

There is no dispute that Impugned levy is on goods that are imported and goods meant for export. Persons liable are importer and exporter of such goods. Incidence of levy is on like activity carriage of the said category of goods, by road and on its safer movement, through the Province of Sindh. Impugned cess is levied on same category of goods, collectable from similarly placed persons, charging incident is, similar activity, therefore, it cannot be said that the impugned Statute impinges equal protection, as enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution. [p. 109, 110 & 111] KK & LL

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