SHC declines interim relief in Battery Operated Tricycle case

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Humayun Khan on Friday declined an application seeking release of a consignment of Battery Operated Tricycles as an interim arrangement.

Earlier Masooda Siraj Advocate counsel for DG Valuation and Principal Appraiser Law, Ilyas Ahsan told the court that in this case Valuation Ruling 871 of 2016 is applicable which determines the value of the item in dispute at a rate of US $ 4 per kilogram. They both maintained that PCT Heading is irrelevant in this particular case when the mis-declaration of description of goods is established beyond any doubt.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Farooq Corporation which imported battery operated tricycles (assembled) while according to declaration  import consignment consisted of baby trike parts. The bench yesterday deferred hearing till today (Friday)

During examination it was found by Customs that there was a grave violation of description of goods. A dispute developed between Directorate of Customs Intelligence (Enforcement) and MCC Appraisement West over the jurisdiction and the directorate and collectorate both lodged FIR.

Today when the petition came up for hearing Ghulam ullah Sheikh advocate for Franklin Law Associates was asked about the allegation of mis-declaration of description. The counsel  informed the bench that mistake was on part of the shipper who instead of parts, loaded the assembled pieces. The Goods Declaration (GD) was filed under the same PCT heading 9503.0010 and imported items whether in parts form (knocked down) or assembled tricycles attracts levy of custom duty and other taxes at the same rate.The counsel further maintained that when PCT is same, no question of evasion of duty or taxes arises. He volunteered to deposit the amount in dispute and sought provincial release of the consignment but the court declined and instead asked the petitioner side to “file a crystal clear rejoinder to para wise comments taking a firm position as to the nature of the consignment” that whether it was in CKD form or CBU (Completely Built Unit). The bench with above order adjourned further proceedings till Jan 04, 2017.

As per the facts reported by Directorate of Customs Intelligence, information was received that M/s Farooq Corporation was importing baby tricycle battery operated in the garb of baby trike parts through mis-declaration of description and gross under valuation.

Monitoring was kept and a GD filed through M/s Sai Enterprises after having been cleared was assigned to gate out staff through Yellow Channel. The consignment was online blocked and upon examination was found to be containing Baby Tricycle battery operated instead of declared baby trike parts. An amount of Rs0.992 million was allegedly evaded.

The Directorate (DIT) and Collectorate (Appraisement West) are claiming jurisdiction over the case and both are reporting different facts and have lodged FIRs under Section 32(1), 32(2) and 32A.

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