Taxing Officer uses discretionary power to Tax the Bill at a grand total of USD 11,084 in favour of applicant

East African Court of Justice-First Instance Division: The instant taxation ruling arose from a bill of costs filed before Yufnalis Okubo, Taxing Officer arising from application which was dismissed.

Facts of the case were that respondent had earlier filed an application where he prayed to join the suit as intervener under Article 40 of the Treaty for the Establishment of East African Community and Rule 36 of EACJ Rules of Procedure, 2013. The above application was concluded in favour of applicant. The applicant’s bill of cost was for USD 98,503 which covered instruction fees, perusals and other related work.

It was submitted by the applicant that the bill filed for USD 95,040 was drawn based on Rules of Court and should be taxed as drawn. Relying on Rule 9(4) of the schedule of the Rules of Court it was contended that the above value was based on the value of subject matter. Respondent opposed the instruction fees on the ground of it being exorbitant and had been decided only to receive leave for interveners to join the suit. The Taxing Officer allowed instruction fees only for Item 1. Under Rule 7(a) of the scales of charges of the third schedules, court allowed USD 200 on Item 2 for perusals of 40 folios. Like above, Court decided costs for other items. With regard to item 9, like items 6 and 4 had been mixed which made it difficult for the Court to ascertain the costs thus the officer allowed only USD 35 for Item 9. Respondent objected to the taxation on every item.

Therefore, Taxing Officer in his discretion decided USD 9,000 with 18% VAT amounting to USD 1,620 to be a reasonable amount for instruction fees of an application. The bill was taxed at grand total of USD 11, 084. [Union Trade Center Ltd. v. Succession Makuza Desire, Taxation Cause No. 1 of 2017, dated 14-08-2018]

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