KARACHI: A full bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed an appeal filed by Collector Custom against order of an appellate bench of SHC which upheld a decision by a Customs appellate tribunal in favour of a local importer.
The bench was seized with the law point that whether a technical member of Customs Appellate tribunal sitting singly has the jurisdiction to decide the matters involving questions of law.
According to details, respondents/imported imported goods from China, 12 types in number. The custom authorities later found that the goods declaration filed by the importer was not correct. The importer then sought departmental remedies but found that they have passed the orders of confiscation but allowed redemption against paying fine and penalty.
The respondent availed the option of paying fine and penalty and later challenged the order in original and judgment by SHC bench at which instant appeal was filed.
Raja Muhammad Iqbal representing the appellant, Pakistan Customs submitted that scheme of the amend section 194-C of the Customs Act 1969 which regulates the constitution of appellate benches, tribunals, legislature intends to discourage the delay in justice on technical grounds.
“legislature no longer wanted that the single member benches constituted under section 194–C (3 A) to be prevented from hearing the cases that involved decisions in relation to a question of law”, the bench held setting aside the order of SHC in a SCRA filed by the Customs department and allowing the appeal as prayed.