KARACHI:-A full bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro adjourned hearing of a question arising out of a petition that whether “Federation of Pakistan” shall be necessarily made a respondent in all petitions or proceedings.

Today, the bench directed the sides to submit synopsis of their arguments and fixed Nov 30 to be the next date of hearing when final arguments would be heard.

The question to be decided by the full bench arises out of a petition CP-D 11/1994 filed by Gul Ahmed Textile Mills against Collector of Customs where in levy of Iqra Surcharge was questioned. The petitioners maintained that exemption can be availed by an importer in case bill of entry for home consumption has been filed between a specific period and in the instant matter the specific period was between June 14, 1993–June 30, 1994. A surcharge of rupees 27, 87, 798 was demanded from the petitioner mill.

During initial hearing years back in 2003, Raja Muhammad Iqbal advocate representing the respondent Collector Custom challenged maintainability of the petition on ground that Federation of Pakistan was not made respondent in the petition and hence it is not maintainable. The then bench comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali (now Chief Justice of Pakistan) and Justice Gulzar Ahmed (then judges of SHC) raising the question of law referred the matter to the Chief Justice for constitution of a full bench to hear and decide the issue.

The petition and the law point was pending decision since then and after a long time came up for hearing today. Masooda Sire  advocate represented the Pakistan Customs while Khalid Anwar Company represented the petitioner. The federal government was represented by a Standing Counsel.