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Court petitioned over law practice certificate fees

By Andante Okanya

Added 8th July 2016 01:55 PM

The petitioner wants court to impose a penalty on NSSF for collecting the fees over the years

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A lawyer flies the national flag at the High Court.

The petitioner wants court to impose a penalty on NSSF for collecting the fees over the years

A lawyer has petitioned court protesting the sh250,000 fees required as clearance fees collected by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to obtain an annual law practice certificate. 

On June 30, Peter Allan Musoke filed an application for judicial review at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala. 

The Chief Registrar of the Courts of Judicature and NSSF are listed as respondents in the application. 

Through KITS Advocates, Musoke contends that it is illegal to collect the fees through NSSF. 

“The second respondent (NSSF), against legislation and in complicity of the first respondent (Chief Registrar) ultra vires and illegal action, also created and imposed, and continues to impose on all advocates that seek to have their practicing certificates renewed and issued a tax or annual charge in form of a clearance fee/tax,” the application states in part. 

Musoke is seeking a declaration that the respondents are acting illegally, and that all proceeds from the illegal actions be returned to the lawyers who have paid the fees. 

He has attached a copy of the clearance certificate with NSSF headed paper, valid from July 2015 to June 2016. 

Musoke also wants court to impose a penalty on NSSF for collecting the fees over the years. 

He contends that the law instructively places the mandate of renewal of the certificates, on the Chief Registrar. 

“The process of renewing and issuing practicing certificates to advocates of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda is a creature of statute, the Advocate Act Cap 267, Laws of Uganda, and the regulations made thereunder,”Musoke states in his affidavit. 

Court is yet to schedule a hearing date. 

When New Vision sought a comment from NSSF public relations manager Victor Karamagi, on whether the entity had received the court documents, he promised to call back shortly. 

However, he had not done so by press time.

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