Some Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) have filed an application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from implementing the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy, popularly known as E-Levy.
The injunction, if granted, is to remain in place until the final determination of a writ filed by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, together with Mahama Ayariga and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, challenging the approval of the E-Levy Bill by Parliament.
The application for interlocutory injunction is scheduled to be heard on May 4; three days after the day the GRA had announced for the implementation of the levy.
It argues that government will not suffer any irreparable damage or inconvenience if the GRA is restrained from implementing the collection of the levy until the final determination of the substantive suit against the E-Levy Act passage.
The application further avers that unless the GRA is restrained, a subsequent nullification of the passage of the E-Levy Act cannot restore the status quo, and would lead to a multiplicity of suits by millions of Ghanaians to retrieve monies they may have paid as E-Levy. Parliament on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, passed the 1.5% levy on electronic transactions, with the minority walking out of Parliament in protest of the passage.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has assented to the bill, and the GRA has scheduled May 1, 2022, to commence the implementation of the levy.
Haruna Iddrisu, together with his colleague NDC MPs, after the passage of the bill, filed a writ at the Supreme Court contesting that Parliament did not have the required number to form a quorum to vote and approve the E-Levy.
They are therefore asking the apex court to set aside the decision of Parliament to vote and pass the bill with less than half of the MPs present at the time of forming the quorum.
They are also seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2(1) (b) and 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, there was no quorum to enable the 137 MPs of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on March 29, 2022, to pass the E-Levy.
Again, they want a declaration that “on a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the passing of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) by the 137 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on March 29, 2022, without the requisite quorum number of 138 Members of Parliament present in Parliament, is null and void and of no legal effect.”
It also wants a further declaration that the purported Third Reading, and subsequent passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021 is in contravention of Article 104(1) of the Constitution, and is therefore null, void, and of no effect.
The suit, therefore, wants an “order of the Honourable Court setting aside the passing of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) by the 137 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on March 29, 2022, as a nullity.”
By: Gibril Abdul Razak | Daily Guide