SHC reserves judgement in specialized vehicles case

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice muhammad Humayun Khan on Friday reserved orders in a number of identical petitions filed by importers of the specialized commercial vehicles including Concrete Mixer trucks, Prime Movers etc.

The bench earlier heard, Faisal Siddiqui advocate and one of the petitioners Haji Razique who appeared in person. Syed Mohsin Imam advocate represented the Model Customs Collectorate, Hyderabad while Additional Attorney General Pakistan Salman Talibuddin represented the official respondents including Ministry of Commerce.

Faisal Siddiqui rebutting the arguments advanced by the respondents maintained that the Pre-shipment Inspection Company was of international repute and its certification of specification as well as conformation to the emission standards of European Union cannot be doubted or dubbed fake. He said that from the record of the case/petitions it is evident that the adjudicating authorities of the Pakistan Customs including Collector Customs ruled in favor of the petitioners.

Addressing the questions of law raised by both the sides, the counsel for petitioners submitted that the law was not followed and vehicles which are in hundreds have been detained for no reason or alleged violation of the import policy order. Dozens of vehicles of similar specialized nature have been released but in case of petitioners every time a new objection was raised which shows the mala fide intentions of the respondents to harass the petitioners by depriving/denying release of the vehicles.

Haji Razique one of the petitioners whose hundreds of vehicles are in detention said that it was a simple matter of valuation  under section 25 of the Customs Act 1969 but the respondents made it complex and treating under section 81 of the Customs Act.

Citing a common example, he said that if an item is sold at three places carrying different price tags, can the highest tag be considered for determining the value of the good in question.

The petitioners prayed to the court to order release of the vehicles which are to be used in construction activities.

The bench after a detailed hearing reserved the judgment while ordering that interim order passed earlier shall continue till judgment is announced.

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