KARACHI: An appeal filed by Pakistan Customs, East will be heard by a bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan on April 12 after counsel for appellant moved an application for urgent hearing and after an application for transfer of case from Karachi Registry to principal seat Islamabad was granted by the apex court.

Sohail Muzaffar advocate is appearing for the petitioner/appellant department while respondent importers including Horizon International was represented by Sardar Iqbal advocate.

The department challenged an interim order passed by an appellate bench of SHC headed by Justice Munib Akhtar wherein appellant department was directed to release the grey fabric as an interim arrangement.

The consignments were detained on alleged ground that grey fabric imported from Dubai was in fact made in India and import of such material of Indian origin was banned.

The respondents/ importers maintained that the fabric in dispute was of China origin and as per Bill of Landing (B/L) it was lawfully imported from Dubai’s free port.

The customs disputed the same alleging that no company in China make the fabric in dispute. The SHC however as an interim arrangement ordered release of the consignments on payment of custom duty and other taxes but the department preferred an appeal against this order.

On a previous Ghulam Hyder Shaikh, Ghulamullah Shaikh advocates duly instructed by Faisal Ghani, CEO of Franklin Law Associates defended the order passed by the SHC. The relied on BL from Dubai and said as purchaser/importer they cannot ask the seller at Dubai about the origin of the item in dispute, however they were convinced by the seller that fabric was “made in China”.

Interestingly the appeal is being reheard as one of the judges, Justice Faisal Arab withdrew from the bench as one of the lawyers appearing in the case was his lawyer son.