Court throws out injunction against CTN system

Kofi Nti, GRA Commissioner-General
Kofi Nti, GRA Commissioner-General

A high court in Tema has dismissed an application for interlocutory injunction that sought to restrain the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), its commissioner General and CTN Ghana Limited from going ahead with the implementation of the policy.

A freight forwarder, John Kwame Adu Jack, filed an application for an order of interlocutory injunction seeking to stop the implementation of the CTN pending the final determination of his suit challenging the policy.

The court, presided over by Justice John Eugene Nyante Nyedu, said that the court did not find ‘cogent reasons’ from the affidavit of Adu Jack to warrant the injunction sought and awarded cost of GHC 30,000 against the plaintiff in favour of the defendants.

This court finds that the balance of convenience is not against the plaintiff/applicant. This is because should the plaintiff/applicant succeed in the main suit, whatever might have been lost to the Republic could not be adequately compensated for by way of damages, the judge held.

The plaintiff prayed the court to declare the implementation of the CTN system as illegal, unconstitutional and breach of the trade facilitation agreement which Ghana signed.

He said the court ought to restrain the defendants from going ahead with its implementation, as this would cause hardship to him.

CTN lawyers raised preliminary objection to the plaintiff’s application, contending that the Revenue Administration Law (Act 915, 2016) mandated the plaintiff to endorse his Tax Identification Number (TIN) on the writ and insisted that the process would become void if he failed to do that.

However, the court overruled the preliminary objection, saying that it was not persuasive enough.

According to the judge, a basic principle in the interpretation of statutes is that where the language is clear and unambiguous, the literal meaning in the statute is to be preferred.

The court said that to determined whether there is serious question of law to be tried, the court has to establish the relationship that exists between the plaintiff and defendants that gave the plaintiff a cause of action to warrant his complaint of the illegality in the implementation of the CTN policy.

It said that the affidavit filed by plaintiff did not disclose the existence of a right in law or equity that has been infringed or is threatened to be infringed which thereby requires protection from the court.

    This court notes that the implementation of the CTN policy is part of a wide number of reforms from the GRA in accordance with its statutory mandate to check fraud and leakages at the ports, it stated.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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