The Federal Court has granted the Malaysian Bar’s application to be an ‘amicus curiae’ of ‘friend of the cour’ in the tax cases of the former Prime Minister, Najib Razak and his son, Nazifuddin Najib.
According to Bernama, the lawyer representing Najib and Nazifuddin, Lawyer Wee Yeong Kang said the court informed them of the decision in a letter on 21 October.
In the statement that was sent to the Federal Court dated 13 October, the Bar had applied for the court to allow 8 of its lawyers to be admitted as ‘amicus curiae’ to hear the appeal.
The Bar had also stated that the case involves an important constitutional issue whether Section 106 (3) of the Income Tax Act 1967 contradicted or contravened Article 121 of the Federal Constitution and asked the court to accept its lawyers as an ‘amicus curiae’ to present arguments and views to assist the court in reaching an appropriate decision.
Meanwhile, Wee said that during the online case management yesterday (29 October), the Deputy Registrar Rasidah Roslee had fixed 16 February 2022 to hear Najib and Nazifuddin’s leave applications to appeal against the summary judgment orders allowing the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to recover more than RM1.7 billion in tax arrears from them.
Najib and Nazifuddin had also filed 9 questions of law to obtain leave. Normally, leave will only be granted if the applicants can show that the legal questions are of public importance and are being raised for the first time.
Previously on 9 September, the Court of Appeal dismissed appeals from Najib and Nazifuddin to set aside summary judgments obtained by LHDN as part of its civil recovery proceedings.
The three-member bench, chaired by Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, said the Income Tax Act 1967 provided a scheme on how assessment and tax collection should be made.
In addition, Karim said that in taxation law, outstanding tax must be paid after an assessment was made and notice sent to taxpayers, within a specified time.
In 2020, High Court judge Ahmad Bache ruled that Najib had to pay LHDN RM1.69 billion for is outstanding taxes, inclusive of additional tax and penalties for the assessment years from 2011 to 2017.
Similarly, High Court judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim ordered Nazifuddin, a businessman, to pay RM37.6 million in unpaid taxes from 2011 to 2017.
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