Chairman Appellate Tribunal resolves difference of opinion between members of the Tribunal

KARACHI: Chairman Customs Appellate Tribunal Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain has resolved the issue of difference of opinion between Member Judicial and Member Technical of Bench-II, Karachi in the appeal of M/s Nawi Taj Shinwari Ltd.

According to details M/s Nawi Taj Shnwari imported a consignment of  items i.e. Soap, LED TV, radio and blank CDR and sought clearance through their authorized clearing agent M/s Arif Associates.

The GD was selected for examination and it was marked to the respective Examination Section to confirm description, quantity, brand, origin and other aspects etc. The examination staff examined the goods and found discrepancy on account of undeclared items and assessed accordingly.

From the foregoing it transpires that the importers in connivance with the clearing agent concealed other items found undeclared and thus made gross mis-declaration of goods in this ease hence importer as well as clearing agent was charged accordingly.

The importer approached Tribunal comprising Member Technical Nazim Saleem and Member Judicial Tahir Zia. Due to difference of opinion, two separate orders were passed. Tahir Zia vacated the show cause notice and set aside the order-in-original, which suggested confiscation of goods and imposed penalty. However, Nazim Saleem upheld the order-in-original.

The case was referred to the referee member Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain, who after detailed deliberation of the case found the view of Nazim Saleem as appropriate and upheld his judgement. Hence, the consignment of M/s Nawi Taj Shinwari is liable to be confiscated as well the as the penalty is recoverable.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Tribunals are losing their credibility and authenticity as the judgments can be bought. There are several instances where the Tribunals passed orders, which raised questions of law.

It is learnt that several consultants have developed links with some members of the Tribunals and they offer their clients decisions of their favor, of course against some payments. These consultants broker the deals and get their cut.

It is more alarming that higher courts usually uphold the decisions of Tribunals because of the lack of time and this way the state is deprived of its legitimate revenue and criminal/unscrupulous elements escape the justice and go on with their wrongdoings.

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