Whether a single digit difference in chassis makes a difference: CPLA filed

KARACHI: A Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal (CPLA)  was filed by Pakistan Customs before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to decide that whether a single digit difference in the chassis number of a vehicle makes a difference or not.

The CPLA filed by Raja Muhammad Iqbal, Senior advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan, assisted by Sardar Zafar Hussain Advocate impinges a judgement by an Customs Appellate bench of Balochistan High Court (BHC) which while deciding a Custom Reference holding that a difference of single digit does not make a difference, allowed the reference and ordered the Pakistan Customs, Gaddani to release a Toyota Corona car model 1989.

The car was seized by the custom officials at Khurkhera check-post and after detection of welded chassis number was taken to the Gaddani Customs Yard and was confiscated on charge of being smuggled and tempered.

According to details, custom officials intercepted a Hino Mini truck at the Khurkhera check post on 2-1-2011 and found the Corona car in the said truck. One Adeel Abbas appeared before the custom authorities and submitted documents including a letter from the Civil Judge/Judicial Magistrate Quetta, Muhammad Zareef to the effect that the said vehicle was purchased by the auction purchaser for rupees 60,000 on 2-6-2010 (open auction of hundreds of vehicles).

Upon verification the Judicial Magistrate stated that the car handed over to the auction purchaser was ‘clear’, had no welding at the place where chassis number is inscribed.

The custom officials referred the matter to the FSL Karachi which confirmed that the chassis number was tempered after which a show cause was also issued to the claimant. The matter was then heard by Collector Appeals, Tribunal and lastly by BHC.

The  instant CPLA impinges the order of the BHC customs appellate bench and likely to be heard next week.

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