KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today partially upheld a 13-year-old verdict on Surya Tobacco Company's tax evasion row.
A probe into the property of former king Gyanendra Shah carried out by the parliament following the reinstatement of the House in 2007 had found that Shah had his majority share in the Company.
A three-member full bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma, Bala Ram KC and Gauri Dhakal partially upheld the verdict.
In 1996, a division bench of justices Hari Prasad Sharma and Harischandra Prasad Upadhayaya upheld the rebate of Rs 160 million tax evasion committed by the Company.
The apex court then had allowed to rebate tax of Rs 160 million to the company and had issued the verdict in its favour stating that the imposition of the tax by the government authorities was illegal.
"Since there were no determination of production of goods and tax on the basis of raw materials, the tax can not be imposed based on the imagination," the bench stated.
The apex court also observed that the valuation of tax in the Financial Act was not specified.
Strongly objecting the 13-year old verdict, the then parliament had carried out the investigation of the Company.
Members of the parliament had also raised an objection that the judges were allegedly involved in issuing the verdict under the influence of the Company.
The members of parliament had also strongly lobbied for impeachment of Justices Hari Prasad Sharma and late Harishchandra Prasad Upadhayay.
Then after the Ministry of Finance had moved the apex court with a review petition, seeking its order to review the verdict.
In 1996, the Company had moved the apex court with a writ petition when the Inland Office had slapped Rs 160 million tax to the Company over the production of tobacco in the year 1994 and 1995 based on the raw materials it had imported.
The apex court then had scrapped the decision of the Inland Revenue Office stating that the imposition of the tax was improper as there were no guarantee over the production of tobacco based on the raw materials it had imported.