Three Minority Members in Parliament who filed an injunction application at the Supreme Court say they remain more determined than before in their pursuit of justice despite the Court’s dismissal of the injunction against the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy).
Ghana’s Apex Court on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, unanimously dismissed an injunction application filed by the three members of the Minority Caucus in Parliament, which sought to block the implementation of the tax measure.
The NDC MPs, who filed the injunction application are Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South who also doubles as the Minority Leader, and Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, and Mr. Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central.
The three filed the injunction application on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 following the passage of the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, despite a walkout by the Minority MPs.
They had sought to stop the government from implementing the Levy until an earlier case they filed to challenge the passage of the law as determined by the Court.
But, the SC in its predictable 7-0 decision (Unanimous 7) dismissed the application, ordering the Ghana Revenue Authority to keep accurate records of all E-Levy deductions to enable a refund to payees if it is later determined that the law was passed unconstitutionally.
According to the Court, the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the Levy from electronic transactions.
“Mechanisms do exist within the current tax regime to refund payees who have either over-paid or wrongfully paid, and that must be taken advantage of”.
“For us in the Minority, until the substantive matter is determined conclusively, we remain determined that even on the balance of weighing monetary consideration against the weight of a constitutional bridge, the emphasis should be the harm we are doing to the 1992 Constitution and the three organs of State. So whether some irreparable damage will be caused, our hardship is in respect to the Constitution by the action of the passage into law of an Act without the minimum Constitutional threshold”.
The Minority MPs had contended that the legal threshold for passage of such a Bill was not met before it was passed.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority has already started implementing the 1.5% charge on Mobile Money and other electronic cash transactions.
The Court, however, said the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the Levy from electronic transactions.
The Court was composed of Nene Amegatcher as President, Her Ladyship Mariama Owusu, His Lordship Professor Ashie Kotey, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Lovelace Johnson, His Lordship Emmanuel Yony Kulendi, and Her Ladyship Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu.
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