Supreme Court Denies Minority Suit Against E-levy Implementation

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

The Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision thrown out the Minority’s suit for interlocutory injunction on the implementation of the 1.5 percent E-levy.

The Minority Caucus petitioned the Supreme Court for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the Akufo-Addo-led government through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from commencing with the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) on the 1st of May 2022.

The plaintiffs were Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga.

The Supreme Court in its ruling today, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, ordered 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.

The court composed of Nene Amegatcher as President, Her Ladyship Mariama Owusu, His Lordship Professor Ashie Kotey, Her Ladyship Getrude Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Lovelace Johnson, His Lordship Emmanuel Yony Kulendi and Her Ladyship Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu.said the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the levy from electronic transactions.

The plaintiffs had filed an earlier suit at the apex court challenging the passage of the e-levy bill by a one-sided parliament.

They claim the number of legislators in the chamber when the bill was passed did not form a quorum as declared by the Supreme Court.

The opposition MPs want the Supreme Court to set aside the passage of the e-levy bill by the 136 MPs of the Majority Caucus present in the chamber of parliament on 29 March 2022 as unconstitutional, null and void.

They wanted the court to stop the commencement of the levy until the final determination of the first case of declaring the levy as null and void.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said although the Minority’s injunction application against the implementation of the E-levy was denied, the plaintiffs take solace in the order of the Supreme Court to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure that they keep adequate records for a possible mass refund to all Ghanaians in the event that they succeed with their substantive case of declaring the passage of the E-levy unconstitutional.

Mr Ablakwa, one of three Minority MPs who petitioned the court’s said this on Wednesday, 4 May 2022 shortly after the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision threw out their application for interlocutory injunction on the implementation of the 1.5 percent E-levy.

The Apex Court, however, ordered the GRA 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.

The court composed of Nene Amegatcher as President, Her Ladyship Mariama Owusu, His Lordship Professor Ashie Kotey, Her Ladyship Getrude Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Lovelace Johnson, His Lordship Emmanuel Yony Kulendi and Her Ladyship Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu said the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the levy from electronic transactions.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs are awaiting the decision on an earlier suit at the apex court challenging the passage of the e-levy bill by a one-sided parliament.

They claim the number of legislators in the chamber when the bill was passed did not form a quorum as declared by the Supreme Court.

The opposition MPs want the Supreme Court to set aside the passage of the e-levy bill by the 136 MPs of the Majority Caucus present in the chamber of parliament on 29 March 2022 as unconstitutional, null and void.

What the plaintiffs were seeking to do with the injunction which has failed was to stop the commencement of the levy until the final determination of the substantive case of declaring the levy as null and void.

 

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