Court dismisses Shafee's bid to stay IRB suit proceedings

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. – Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has dismissed an application by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to stay the proceedings of a suit filed against him by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) for failing to pay income tax arrears amounting to RM9.41mil.

Muhammad Shafee had applied to stay the proceeding pending the disposal of his appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax of Malaysia.

His lawyer, Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, said Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain dismissed the application with a cost of RM5,000 to be paid to LHDN.

"The court rejected the applicant's (Muhammad Shafee) argument that there were special circumstances to stay the proceedings. The court fixed Oct 6 for the case management to set the hearing date," he said when contacted by reporters after the online proceedings on Wednesday (Sept 28).

Meanwhile, Senior Revenue Counsel Al-Hummidallah Idrus, who represented the LHDN, when contacted, confirmed the matter.

At today's proceedings, Muhammad Shafee was also represented by lawyers Datuk Seri Rajan Navaratnam and Wee Yeong Kang, while the IRB was also represented by Senior Revenue Counsel Norhisham Ahmad and Muhammad Faqrol Syazreen Mohd Ghause.

Muhammad Shafee, 70, filed the application on Nov 3 last year, which, among other things, sought an order for the proceedings to be temporarily suspended pending the outcome of an application filed by former prime minister Datuk Seri Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his son, Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin, regarding the payment of income tax, amounting to RM1.69bil and RM37.6mil respectively, to the LHDN, before the Federal Court.

Among the grounds cited by Muhammad Shafee was that he had filed a notice of appeal against the notices on additional assessment for the assessment years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, to the IRB on June 27, 2019, apart from the existence of special circumstances that warrant the stay.

On Sept 27 last year, the LHDN applied for its suit against Muhammad Shafee, which was filed on May 6, to be decided through summary judgment, on the grounds that the defendant had failed to pay the income tax arrears amounting to RM9,414,708.32 within the stipulated time.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of receiving RM9.5 million in proceeds from unlawful activities from Najib, and two charges of making false declarations to the IRB. – Bernama

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