Court quashes lawsuit against THT

Kathmandu, March 6

The Kathmandu District Court has quashed a defamation lawsuit against The Himalayan Times.

The case was filed by Fire & Ice after THT ran stories on how the Thamel-based restaurant was collecting 10 per cent service charge and 13 per cent value added tax through invoices that did not contain seller’s name and permanent account number.

All tax invoices in Nepal must contain bill number, permanent account number, sellers’ and buyers’ names, breakdown of taxes and taxable amount. Sellers can also issue ‘abbreviated tax invoices’, which allow them to issue bills without mentioning taxes that have been levied. But such invoices should also include seller’s name and permanent account number.

The irregularity prompted the Inland Revenue Office, Thamel, to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on the restaurant. At the time of collecting the fine, the tax office had warned the eatery not to repeat the mistake.

After Fire & Ice paid the fine as per the tax office’s instruction, it filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper for reporting these issues. But the bench of Justice Pushpa Raj Thapaliya dismissed the case on Tuesday, stating the plaintiff had failed to establish sufficient grounds for the claim. The restaurant can appeal against the district court’s order at the high court.