The Supreme Court has today, Thursday, May 26, ordered the Attorney General to file his statement of case in relation to the Minority’s e-levy suit within 14 days.

The case was filed on March 30, by three members of the Minority namely; Haruna Iddrisu, Mahama Ayariga, and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

In their writ, they are asking the Supreme Court to declare the passage of the E-Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) as unconstitutional, hence, must be set aside.

They argued that Parliament did not have the required numbers when the law was passed.

Last month, the apex court dismissed attempts by the MPs to suspend the implementation of the law which allows for the collection of the levy.

Supreme Court orders AG to file statement of case on Minority’s E-levy suit within 14 days

Again, the apex court ordered the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to keep accurate records of all e-levy deductions to enable a refund to payees if it is later determined that the law was passed unconstitutionally.

But in court on Thursday, a Principal State Attorney representing the Attorney General, Cynthia Quartey, urged the Court to extend the time of filing to enable them to file their statement of the case.

Lead Counsel for the MPs, Godwin Tamakloe, did not oppose the request on the basis that they would also get the opportunity to reply to the statement when filed.

Sitting as a single judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga gave the Attorney General 14 days to file his statement with the assurances of the court that the three MPs will get to respond to the statement when filed by the Attorney General.

Background

Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, and his colleagues Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga and North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, have dragged the Attorney-General to the Supreme Court over the approval of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy).

They contend that Parliament did not have the required number of at least half of its members present, when the controversial tax policy was approved.

The House approved the policy without the participation of National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs.

The Tamale South MP and his colleagues want the Supreme Court to declare that the said approval was contrary to law.

They are seeking the following;

“a. A declaration that on the authority of the Supreme Court case of Justice Abdulai v. Attorney-General, Writ No. J1/07/2022 dated 9th March, 2022, the constitutional quorum number for decision-making and voting within the meaning of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution is 138 Members of Parliament out of the 275 Members of Parliament and not 137 Members of Parliament.
 
b. 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 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in Parliament on 29th March, 2022 to pass the Electronic Transactions Levy (‘’E-Levy’’).
 
c. 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 the 29th March 2022 without the requisite quorum number of 138 Members of Parliament present in Parliament, is null and void and of no legal effect.
 
d. 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 the 29th March, 2022 as a nullity.
 
e. Any other order(s) the Honourable Court may deem fit.”