State functionaries have no power to conduct fishing, roving inquiries: Tribunal

KARACHI: Deciding a controversy in respect of import of used, old prime movers, Customs Appellate Tribunal headed by Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi and Muhammad Yahya dismissed an appeal filed by the Collector of Customs, Model Customs Collectorate against Quick Contractors and Traders and Collector of Appeals.

The controversy revolves around the capacity/Horse Power of the prime movers and Customs assessed that the importer attempted a mis-declaration.

The Adjudicating Officer during process of assessment also sought technical help from the Hino Pak Motors who after detailed research informed the actual engine capacity of series J) 8 C-TJ-1 0835 and engine HP is 192 HP of the imported prime mover, which was different from the declared one.

The consignment was resultantly seized on ground that the consignment was “not importable“. A penalty of Rs100,000 was also imposed upon importer.

The appellant/ importer challenged the decision by the Adjudicating Officer before the Collector Appeal who allowed the appeals against which the instant appeal before the Customs Appellate Tribunal was filed.

The appellate tribunal held, “State functionaries have no power and authority to conduct fishing and roving inquiries without possessing any definite and proper information, just hoping to unveil some concealment and illegality on the part of tax payer/ citizen”.

Referring to the technical assistance sought from the local manufacturer, the tribunal held that  before embarking upon any inquiry the state functionary must already possess some definite material so as to establish any inquiry, the state functionary must already  possess some definite material so as to establish any illegal action having been taken by the citizen.

The tribunal allowing the appeal held that proceedings in the subject case are infested  with patent deficiencies  and violation of statutory requirement.

 

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