A clearing, forwarding and logistics firm has sued the Kenya Revenue Authority for failing to issue it with an operating licence on account of court cases between them.
Kenfreight East Africa Ltd says KRA’s conduct not only breaches the sub-judice rule but its conduct amounts to contempt of orders previously issued.
Through lawyer Sanjeev Khagram, the company wants KRA unconditionally ordered to consider its application for the 2017 licence within 14 days of such an order being made without regard to matters before court.
The company is supposed to have its 2017 licence renewed before it can have the one for 2018.
Kenfreight East Africa Ltd also wants the taxman prohibited from interfering with its access to the Simba System or any electronic system it may require for purposes of its business.
In its petition, the company argues that KRA released a notification through the press informing stakeholders of delay in the processing of 2017 licences on account of due diligence, which it was carrying out.
“Immediately thereafter, a further notification was issued clarifying that the customs agents licensing issued for the year 2017 were still valid upon the end of the April 2017,”the petition states.
The company further argues that the due diligence process continued beyond 2017 and validity of the 2016 licence as well as access to KRA’s Simba System by all agents was extended to January this year.
According to the company, it diligently followed with KRA on the licence status and on November 8 last year wrote to the taxman enquiring about the renewal.
It also raised the issue with KRA’s refusal to consider the application on account of court cases pending between them.
“The petitioner did not believe that KRA could engage in such underhand tactics to compel the petitioner to compromise the cases pending before courts to its detriment or influence the outcome without the petitioner being accorded a fair hearing and trial,” the petition reads in part.
The logistics company says KRA wrote to it on January 9 informing it that it will not consider its application for renewal of 2017 licences on account of a number of outstanding cases.
The company claims that its enquiries with KRA as to what the cases are has elicited no response. The firm says there are only four court cases between them.
The company is also seeking a declaration that its fundamental rights to the protection of its property and from arbitrary deprivation as well as the right to fair administrative action, access to information and a fair hearing have been breached.
It is also seeking a declaration that KRA acted inconsistently with and in breach of its powers, duties and obligations under the constitution.