Steel Committee of Pakistan Customs: SHC displeased with manner committee proceeds

KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Arshad Hussain disapproved the manner in which Steel Committee formed by Pakistan Custom functions and examine steel items in dispute for the purpose of determining custom duty taxes and other levys.

The bench was hearing  Afzal Awan advocate who appeared for petitioner AKK Enterprises (SMCPVT) Ltd. The consignment is lying at the port with demurrage and other expenditures mounting, Afzal Awan advocate submitted.

He said that committee has ruled in his favor. Kashif Nazeer advocate, counsel for respondent Pakistan Customs submitted that three members out of 5 member committee ruled against the petitioner.

The bench then took on the reports of examination by members. It asked a number of questions about the sitting of the committee. As the counsel for Pakistan Customs evaded answer to the queries, the bench specifically asked that whether all the members of the committee sit at one time, examine and make a report.

Finding nemo escape, Kashif Nazeer counsel for Pakistan Customs said that all members make report individually and never sit together. The bench asked him to seek further instructions while allowing provisional release of the Steel sheets claimed to be of prime quality by the importer AKK Enterprises (SMCPVT) Ltd while declared to be of secondary quality by Customs. The bench ordered release after payment of one half of disputed  amount to be kept by Nazir of SHC.

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