The Supreme Court on Wednesday restored all taxes on mobile phone scratch cards and top-ups, a private TV channel reported.The case pertaining to collection of taxes on mobile phone scratch cards was heard by a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. While reading out the short order after the hearing, the chief justice said that the Supreme Court will not interfere in the matters of public revenue and tax collection. The court also withdrew the stay order placed on the collection of mobile phone taxes while wrapping up the suo motu case.Since June 2018, the mobile phone consumers were exempted from paying any tax over the usage of cell phones due to a stay order issued by former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar in a suo motu case wherein directives were issued to cellular phone companies to refrain from deduction of any tax from the consumers on charging of pre-paid cards till final adjudication of the matter. Appearing before the bench on behalf of the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) in the matter on Wednesday, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar argued that the Supreme Court had passed interim orders under which the sales tax charged on telecommunication services was suspended. He contended that his client alone could not recover a sum of more than Rs 27 Billion during this period, adding that jurisdiction under Article 184(3) can only be exercised if the matter is of public importance as well as enforcement of fundamental rights, adding that in the matter in hand, the jurisdiction has been assumed by the top court on a note put up by the Human Rights Cell.Barrister Zafar argued that under Article 184(3), it is a requirement that before exercising the jurisdiction, the Supreme Court must apply its mind and come to the conclusion that prima facie the matter is of public importance also involving enforcement of fundamental rights. Citing a number of verdicts in order to substantiate his arguments, Barrister Zafar said imposition of any kind of tax or fee is exclusively a prerogative of the parliament and provincial assemblies under the law of the land. He argued that if a tax is to be challenged, then the appropriate procedure under the constitution is that the case should first be filed by an aggrieved party under Article 199 of the constitution before a high court, and only after that the apex court can examine validity of tax laws while exercising its appellate jurisdiction. As regards the imposition of sales tax on the services under the Punjab Sales Tax Act, 2012, he submitted that the tax was being levied in accordance with the law and under the provisions of valid law and no one was aggrieved by it nor had it been challenged being contrary to any of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution and, hence, the suo moto proceedings undertaken by the court should be disposed of.During the hearing, Justice Qazi Faez Isa questioned whether there was a precedent of using Article 184(3) of the constitution in cases related to tax enforcement. Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the collection of taxes from non-filers was a violation of fundamental human rights. He noted that while there were only 1.3 million taxpayers in the country, mobile tax was being levied on more than 20 million citizens.After hearing the federation, provincial law officers and Barrister Ali Zafar, the bench reserved the verdict. After half an hour, the bench announced a short order while disposing of the case, holding that the top court will not interfere in revenue and taxation matters. Earlier in March, the Supreme Court had expressed its bewilderment over the exercise of suo motu powers to suspend tax deductions on top-up cards and wondered whether such jurisdiction falls under Article 184(3). “Whether such matter can be proceeded in the exercise of jurisdiction under Article 184(3) and if the answer is in affirmative then can the advance tax or the withholding tax under Section 236 of the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO) be levied or recovered from non-tax payers,” the court had asked.