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Govt Order to Block Non-Filer SIMs Still in Effect: Islamabad High Court

The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday held a hearing on the case of the federal government’s decision to block mobile phone SIMs of non-filers.

The session focused on an application to dismiss the stay order on taking action against telecom companies who refused to block non-filer SIMs.

Chief Justice Amir Farooq, who presided over the hearing, clarified that the injunction does not prevent the blocking of SIMs but was issued to protect the petitioners.

The government’s order to block SIMs remains in effect, he stated.

The Chief Justice acknowledged that the government’s action might be part of broader economic reforms and indicated that the court would aim to resolve the case swiftly. The next hearing is scheduled for June. Both parties have been asked to agree on a specific date and inform the court. The hearing was adjourned until then.

It should be mentioned that a leading telecom company on Monday conveyed to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that it has blocked over 3,000 SIMS of non-filers under
protest with apprehension of litigation with the tax department.

FBR last month issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) to disable the mobile phone SIMs of over 0.5 million persons who do not appear on the active taxpayer list but are liable to file the Income Tax Return for Tax Year 2023.

After a few delays, telecom operators on May 10 agreed to initiate the manual blocking process of SIMs in small batches.

Source: Pro Pakistani


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