SC declines stay order in Sumargi's case

Published On: September 16, 2019 07:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 16: The Supreme Court on Sunday declined to issue a stay order sought by businessman Ajaya Raj Sumargi in a case in which he has been charged of evading billions of rupees in income tax.

A division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Manoj Kumar Sharma declined to issue the stay order as demanded by Sumargi-owned Nepal Satellite Telecom Private Limited.

When the Large Taxpayers Office (LTO) initiated action recently against Sumargi's company for allegedly evading billions of rupees in tax while selling its 75 percent shares seven years ago, the company had moved the apex court a few weeks ago seeking a stay order.

The company argued in the writ petition that it is not liable to pay the amount as determined by the LTO and sought apex court intervention immediately after the LTO assessed Rs 4.31 billion in tax for Sumargi's company.

On August 29, the company's attorney-in-fact Subhash Chandra Paudel had field the writ petition seeking the apex court intervention against LTO's assessment.

A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana had summoned the LTO for discussions following the initial hearing. The lawyers of both the parties—the government and the petitioner—were present in the hearing conducted on Sunday on whether or not to issue the stay order as demanded by the petitioner.

The Nepal Telecom Authority had already revoked the licence of Sumargi's company for not paying the renewal and royalty charges.

The board meeting of the Authority had revoked the licence on August 19 citing that Sumargi's company failed to pay around Rs 900 million renewal and royalty charges.

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