The Supreme Court has stayed the High Court (HC) verdict for two months that had declared the government order of imposing 15% income tax on private universities, and private medical, dental and engineering colleges illegal.
After hearing a government petition against the HC decision made on September 5, the Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Mirza Hussain Haider on Wednesday passed the stay order and asked the government to file a leave-to-appeal plea within two months.
Following the Chamber Judge's order, the private universities, and medical, dental and engineering colleges have to pay the taxes, Deputy Attorney General Rashed Jahangir said, adding that the state will file the regular leave-to-appeal plea after getting full copy of the HC verdict.
The Chamber Judge also stayed the HC order that asked the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to refund the money already extracted from the educational institutions.
The NBR in a gazette notification on June 28, 2007, imposed income tax on private universities approved by the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh. However, private medical, dental and engineering universities and colleges were exempted from the tax.
But on July 1, 2010, another gazette notification was issued saying that all private higher educational institutions have to pay 15% income tax.
Later, the educational institutions’ authorities moved with a number of writ petitions against the government's decision.
Hearing the pleas the HC issued a rule asking why the decisions will not be declared illegal. The rule was declared absolute by the court in its verdict.