Constitutional challenge for service tax on India's lawyers

November 20, 2012 The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued notice in a writ petition challenging the constitutionality of the imposition of a service tax upon advocates and arbitral tribunals.

The petition filed in the Allahabad High Court follows a similar line of argument to petitions filed in the Delhi High Court, claiming that the tax will hamper and directly affects a citizen’s right to access courts, thereby violating the provisions of the Constitution.
The petition also claims that the introduction of the “reverse charge” principle in the Taxation Rules would breach advocates’ right to privacy by requiring them to disclose income to clients.
Further, the petition claims that arbitral tribunals should not be taxed as ordinary commercial enterprises, since the work they do should be considered a public good.

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