SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has a notice to the state government following a petition filed by four persons that seeks to restrain the government from paying the income tax of its ministers and MLAs.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua has sought response from the state.
The petitioners have raised questions over Section 6 AA of the HP Legislative Assembly (Allowances & Pension of Members) Act, which says that “the salary and compensatory, constituency, secretarial, postal facilities and telephone allowances payable to a member and other perquisites admissible under the Act will be exclusive of the income tax, which will be payable by the government”.
The petitioners claimed that about Rs 1.11 crore was paid as income tax on behalf of the state ministers and MLAs in 2017-18. The amount, they said, went up to Rs 1.79 crore in 2018-19 financial year. They contended that when the state had a liability of about Rs 63,000 crore, it was “unwise” on the part of the ministers and MLAs to shift liability of the payment of their personal income tax on the government. The tax resultantly was paid from the people’s money, which was “unconstitutional”, they claimed.