Bonded carriers contest adjudication order before Collector Appeals

KARACHI: A number of bonded carriers have approached Collector of Customs Appeals Islamabad against the adjudication order served on them and prayed to call record and proceedings of the show cause notices issued to the bonded carriers, on the basis of which a penalty of Rs15,000 each was imposed on the bonded carriers.

The bonded carriers have also prayed to make further inquiry and provide opportunity to the bonded carriers for the purpose of deciding the case on merit. They prayed to annul the order-in-original passed by Deputy Collector Adjudication, Islamabad.

The brief back ground of the case is that on the report of the Superintendent Transit Trade Custom Station Torkham, who reported that a number of containers mounted on respective vehicles dispatched from Karachi on various dates for export in transit to Afghanistan via Torkham. M/s. TPL reported that the vehicles carrying the containers diverted its routes at different places in   drivers of the respective vehicles were asked to clarify facts with respect to said route deviation and due to their alleged failure to give cogent reason for the said deviation, 36 show cause notices were issued to about 10 Custom bonded carriers.

The bonded carriers duly replied the show cause notices and the allegations were rebutted with documentary evidence. Later however, the judgment was passed and order-in-original was served on the bonded carriers without affording them the opportunity of hearing and the bonded carriers were handed only the photocopy of the O-in-O.

Scrutiny of the orders transpired that the said judgment was actually passed in some other un-contested show cause notice but was applied mutatis mutandis to 35 other show cause notices.

It is interesting to note that after the tracking company reported deviation of routes, the subject vehicles were not stopped by the Directorate General of Transit Trade and the same were allowed to move to Afghanistan and even at the Torkham border these container laden vehicles were not examined.

It may be mentioned here that the tracking company reports to MCC Preventive Karachi and the information is then passed to Directorate General of Transit Trade. An official said the information was generated from Karachi and the contravention reports should have been served by Directorate of Transit Trade Karachi, but the contravention was served by Customs Torkham.

The appeal filed by the bonded carriers submits that the Order does not contain any specific findings and observations as against the bonded carriers. Moreover, it is evident from the record that the subject goods were delivered safe and sound to its destination within the prescribed time without any delay.

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