Kohima, June 11: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on June 3 last granted three more weeks to the state government to file its counter affidavit against a PIL challenging its imposition of COVID-19 Cess on petroleum, diesel and other motor spirit items.
According to the Court order, which was issued on June 3 last maintained that it heard Neiteo Koza, the petitioner in person and Additional Advocate General, K Sema for the state respondents.
Sema prayed for further time and the Court granted three weeks time to file the counter affidavit, stated the order.
Mention may be made here that through a notification dated April 28 last, the State Finance Department informed that in addition to the existing rate of tax and cess, COVID-19 cess would be levied at the rate of Rs 5 per litre of Diesel and Rs 6 per litre of petrol and other motor spirit.
On May 20 last, the GHC Kohima Bench had asked the State government to file an affidavit within two weeks (June 3) on PIL challenging the imposition of COVID cess on petroleum, diesel and other motor spirit items filed by Koza himself, who is also an advocate.
Despite protest from the opposition political parties in the State, and also tribal and civil society organizations to immediately roll back the cess, the government remained firm saying that the amount collected would be purely utilised in the fight against COVID-19 and that it would cease to exist once the pandemic is declared normal. (Page News Service)