Ransford France v EC & AG : Locus Classicus for Supreme Court’s dismissal of E-Levy Injunction application

Ransford France v EC & AG : Locus Classicus for Supreme Court’s dismissal of E-Levy Injunction application

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court of Ghana on May 4, 2022, unanimously dismissed an injunction application filed by three minority Members of the Parliament, which sought to halt the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

In giving its ruling, the court presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher ascribed some 5 grounds of which the court considered whether or not the public interest would be protected by the granting of the injunction application.

Additionally, the court held on the issue of balancing hardships that greater hardship will be on the state should the application be granted because the Ghana Revenue Authority will be able to reimburse funds if the substantive case succeeds but will not be able to recover the levy if otherwise

Similarly in the case cited supra, titled RANSFORD FRANCE V THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL[2012]DLSC2691, in which the plaintiff per his counsel Godfred Yeboah Dame and others,  invoked on July 6, 2012, the original jurisdiction of the court seeking inter alia;

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23, 51 and  296 (c), the 1 defendant in the exercise of its functions and discretionary power in creating new constituencies, is required to make by Constitutional Instrument, regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution or any other law to govern the exercise of its discretionary power;

An order directed at the 1 Defendant compelling the 1 Defendant to, as required by Articles 51 and 296 (c) of the 1992 Constitution, make by Constitutional Instrument not inconsistent with the Constitution or any other law, regulations to govern the exercise of its discretionary power to create new constituencies including in particular, the specification of the formula and mechanism to be used in the creation of new constituencies;

A declaration that failure by the 1 Respondent as required by Article 51 and 296 (c) of the 1992 Constitution to make the Constitutional Instrument referred to in (i) above is a breach of the fundamental human right to vote of all citizens of Ghana qualified to vote,

The Supreme Court per Atuguba JSC noted in his concurring opinion that; 

 "It is well settled that the failure of a constitutional body to make the necessary rules for the exercise of jurisdiction does not invalidate the exercise of that jurisdiction”

Furthermore quoting Article 1(1) of the Constitution, 1992, he indicated that; 

” This provision means that all arms of government, the Judiciary inclusive, must exercise their powers solely with the view to achieving the welfare of the sovereign people of Ghana with regard to any matter. It therefore follows that since constituencies have been created since the 1992 Constitution and elections smoothly held in respect of them to the benefit of the sovereign people of Ghana, despite the non-compliance with article 296(c), and assuming the literal and wide meaning of it contended for by the plaintiff is correct how would the welfare of the sovereign people of Ghana be served by the invalidation of the newly created constituencies in respect of which much expenditure in terms of  time and other resources have been incurred, on account of the procedural prerequisites of article 296(c) breached by communis error? Such a decision would run counter to article 1(1) aforesaid and ought to be discountenanced by this court.”

Finally, Justice Atuguba made a point to the effect that;

” After all, the creation of such constituencies could still be challenged on grounds of constitutionality other than 296(c) thereby resulting in a win-win situation for the people of Ghana and our Constitution”

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