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Proceeding with E-Levy on May 1 is contempt of court: #FixTheCountry, others

BY: Isaac Yeboah
File photo: #FixTheCountry members at a demonstration
File photo: #FixTheCountry members at a demonstration

Convenors of #FixTheCountry movement, along with two NGOs, have cautioned the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend its intended rollout of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075).

The groups, including Democracy Hub and Democratic Accountability Lab, say a pending suit at the Supreme Court against the passage of the Act, mandates that the implementation is put on hold until the matter is determined by the court.

It is recalled that the Minority Leader and two of his colleagues, Mahama Ayariga and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, have initiated processes at the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the Act has not legally been passed.

The GRA has been issuing notices announcing the phased implementation of the levy starting May 1.

However the three bodies say going ahead with the implementation will amount to contempt of court because that is the position of the apex court, besides they are ready to go all legal lengths to ensure the law is not trampled.

“The Convenors indicate that should the Authority fail to comply with the law, they are prepared to take all law-based actions, including direct actions to prevent the violation of the Constitution, as required under Articles 3 and 42 of the 1992 Constitution; to the initiation of contempt proceedings against the Commissioner-General and the Authority should it fail to observe the law”, they said in a letter served on the Commissioner-General.

Below is the full content of the letter

Convenors of #FixTheCountry movement say they have, together with two NGOs, served the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, with a letter drawing the attention of the Ghana Revenue Authority to several decisions of the Supreme Court which specify that any conduct including the decision by the Authority to commence the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 on the 1st of May 2022, will expose the Authority, and the Commissioner-General to contempt charges.

In its letter #FixTheCountry notified the Ghana Revenue Authority that according to the law, whether or not an injunction application has been filed or heard, the Authority is required to refrain or abstain from taking any step that renders that prevents the court from discharging its judicial function and brings the authority and administration of the law into disrespect.

In this connection, the Convenors note that the Authority cannot start from implementing the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075) until a competent Court declares otherwise. The Convenors ask that the Ghana Revenue Authority retreat immediately from its intention to commence the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075).

The Convenors indicate that should the Authority fail to comply with the law, they are prepared to take all law-based actions, including direct actions to prevent the violation of the Constitution, as required under Articles 3 and 42 of the 1992 Constitution; to the initiation of contempt proceedings against the Commissioner-General and the Authority should it fail to observe the law.

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