KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) here Wednesday ordered issuance of notices to respondents including Special Customs Appellate Tribunal, Bench I and Alpha Corporation.

The bench comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan was hearing a Special Customs Reference Application (SCRA) filed by the Additional Director, Directorate of Intelligence and Investigations, Pakistan Customs.

The applicant challenged the order of the Appellate Tribunal raising a question of law that whether evasion of leviable tax through wrong claim of zero-rated duty at the time of clearance of imported goods through automated Customs Clearing System under self-assessment procedures amount to mis-declaration and fiscal fraud.

The applicant maintained that the acts done by the importer company attracts Section 32 (1) (2) of Customs Act 1969 read with Section 3 and 6 of the Sales Tax Act 1990.

According to details, the respondent Alpha Corporation routinely imports Mono Sodium Glutamate commonly known as “Ajinomoto”. They used to get the consignment cleared as “intermediary in manufacturing of dyes”. The Customs maintains that MSG is a food additive, food flavor enhancer and hence liable to Sales Tax as well as other taxes including Advance Income tax and the importer has evaded payment of rupees 11,732,347. The contravention was reported and subsequently a show cause was issued to the importer against which the appeal was filed which was decided in favor of the respondent Alpha Corporation and now challenge in the instant SCRA.