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Lawyers to strike against service tax

Lawyers of district courts in the capital will abstain from work on Thursday to oppose the imposition of service tax on law firms.

delhi Updated: Jul 08, 2009 20:38 IST

Lawyers of district courts in the capital will abstain from work on Thursday to oppose the imposition of service tax on law firms.

"The lawyers of India will not tolerate any attempt by the government to impose service tax on the legal fraternity and shall adopt all peaceful means to oppose such uncalled for and unwarranted taxes on lawyers," the Coordination Committee of All Bar Associations of Delhi said.

In the latest national budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed service tax on advice, consultancy or technical assistance provided in the field of law.

"The legal profession cannot be considered a trade or business. It was exempt from service tax as it cannot be equated with commercial activities and services provided by others for profit," the body said in a statement.

The Bar Council of Delhi has urged the finance minister to withdraw the proposal.

"The government seems to be labouring under the impression that the advocates' profession is a commercial activity. The profession of law is a most noble and pious profession meant to advance the promotion of administration of justice," said Ved Prakash Sharma, chairman of the Bar Council of Delhi.