SC allows appeals by Customs in Dumper exemption case

KARACHI: A bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan announcing a judgment reserved on 28-5-2016 allowed three civil appeals filed by Pakistan Customs assailing an order by SHC in favor of three cement manufacturing companies in respect of imported dumper trucks.

The bench comprised Justice Mian Saquib Nisar, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Faisal Arab. The judgment was announced by Justice Faisal Arab who also authored the same.

According to details, Maple Leaf Cement, Best Way Cement and D.G.Khan Cement factories in  the year 2005, imported different number of dumper trucks for carrying raw material within their factories and excavation sites. They filed GD’s seeking exemption under SRO 575/2006. The Pakistan Customs Valuation disputed the GD’s on ground that dumper trucks imported could either be used for common purposes also and hence exemption under SRO 575/2006 is not admissible.

The respondent factories moved the High Court which allowed provisional release of the trucks on payment of differential amount of custom duty and other taxes while Collector of Appeals was directed to decide the controversy in a specific time period.

The Collector Appeals passed orders in favor of the department after which the respondents filed the appeal before Special Customs Appellate Tribunal. The tribunal ruled against the department which was assailed before the SHC. The SHC upheld the decision by the tribunal against which the instant civil appeals were filed . Raja Muhammad Iqbal Advocate appearing for the department maintained that trucks were of general nature and hence SRO cited was not attracted. Suleman Akram Raja, counsel for respondents opposed the plea and said that at relevant time government allowed the import and issued the SRO to increase cement production in the country hence the respondents/defendants are entitled to the benefit from the SRO.

According to the judgment announced today Bestway Cement is ordered to pay an amount of Rupees 4 crore, Mapel Leaf 2.75 Crore and D.G.Khan rupees 2 crore as differential amount.

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