SHC grants time to Customs in Steel case

KARACHI: An appellate bench of  High Court of Sindh on Friday  granted time to Pakistan Customs for filing para wise comments in a constitution petition filed by Raja Steel against assessment of Steel sheets as of prime quality or secondary type.

Muhammad Afzal Awan representing the petitioner at the outset submitted that the Steel Committee formed to deal with such controversies has ruled in the favour of the petitioner.

Kashif Nazeer advocate representing the department first attempted to get the matter adjourned. The para wise comments are ready to be filed but delay was unavoidable, he submitted. The bench comprising Justice Munib Akhtarand Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed however continue to hear the counsel for petitioner and after perusing documents on record asked about the decision by each of the five member committee. It was found that two members of the committee accepted the goods declaration by the importer/petitioner while the two including member from the  department declared the steel sheets to be of secondary nature which attracts more taxes and custom duty.

While the counsel for petitioner relied and referred to an order by Special Customs Appellate Tribunal in which , in case of a tie  view of the tribunal became the deciding factor.

The bench declined to accept this plea and observed that such a decision by the appellate tribunal is not binding upon SHC bench. The bench asked the petitioner’s counsel to address the legal issues for an early decision while Kashif Nazeer advocate, counsel for the department was asked to come prepared, file para wise comments well before next date of hearing fixed for April 03.

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