DC Preventive fails to answer queries of the court SHC orders DC to memorize law, come prepared

KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh comprising Justice Munib
Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Humayun Khan ordered a Deputy Collector,
Customs, Preventive to memorize the Custom’s Act 1969 and Custom Rules and
come prepared on next date of hearing to answer queries of the  court  in
respect of a seizure made by the Customs preventive.

The bench was hearing a constitutional petition filed by Shafiullah, owner
of a gowdown  located on Plot no F 272, Gul Bai, Mauripur, Hawksbay Road,
Shershah.

The petitioner through his counsel Ms Dil Khurram Shaheen advocate
maintained that on 29-8-2016, in the evening, officers of the MCC,
Preventive, Custom House came to his shop/gowdown and seized the
documents, laptops, USBs . They sealed the gowdown issuing a warning to
owner and others to not to enter the sealed premises or remove any item
from there.

The petitioner prayed to the court to order de-sealing of his business
place, restrain the custom officials from  removing goods or  destroying
the documents snatched from him.

The petitioner impugned the  search notice  issued under section 163 of
Custom Act 1969 which stated that godown was filled with smuggled
air conditioners,  refrigerators, ETT  machines, tyres.

When the petition came up for hearing, the counsel submitted that items
confiscated and sealed were old and used electrical appliances purchased by
the petitioner locally.

Kashif Nazeer advocate, counsel for respondent department submitted that
there were 800 air conditioners and 168 other items. He complained that
petitioner is not cooperating with the respondents to ascertain the origin
of the goods.

Under section 187, the burden of proof lies with the petitioner, submitted
the counsel for Customs Preventive.

The bench which perused the case filed was irked as it found that items
alleged to be smuggled included old office chairs.

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