Contrary to a recent newspaper reports, Supreme Court Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh has clarified that when he presided as Chamber Justice, at no time did he halt the Tax Court’s efforts to force the payment of US$190,800 as oil and gas company Srimex’s tax obligation to government.
The Daily Observer reported in its back page story dated April 12, under the caption: “Srimex Oil Company Reneges over US$143K Tax Evasion,” that “Three years after then Justice in Chamber of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, halted Tax Court efforts to force the payment of US$190,800 as oil and gas company Srimex’s tax obligation to government, the company is yet to settle its responsibility, court documents revealed.”
According to Justice Ja’neh, no chamber justice has the authority under the law to stop a court from enforcing its decision against a person or entity accused of breaking the law.
He said it is the Full Bench of the Supreme Court that is clothed with the legal authority to take such a decision.
On the Srimex issue, Justice Ja’neh explained that the company filed an appeal against then Judge Eva Mappy Morgan’s ruling, which appeal is pending before the full bench to make a determination.
He said not a single chamber justice by law can decide an appeal filed to the Supreme Court.
Justice Ja’neh meanwhile advised journalists to seek clarity from court documents before publishing a story emanating from the court.
“The documents are there so you have to check them properly. And if there is any concern, ask any of us justices to balance your information,” Justice Ja’neh told the court reporters.