KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan ordered provisional release of a consignment of steel plates against payment of differential amount with Pakistan Customs  while submitting security in respect of fine and penalty.

The bench was hearing Sohail Muzaffar Advocate who represented an importer. The goods are lying at port and I request release on payment of difference so that petitioner is saved of demmurage, he said.

The bench observed that “prima facie the department has a strong case against you. They have approached the UAE based seller and also under took different steps to verify the actual price of goods in dispute and one claimed by the petitioner. You must come to court with clean hands, the bench said.

The petitioner has submitted all document and if clearing agent has done something wrong I may not be made to suffer, the counsel submitted.

The bench retorted that conduct of clearing agent is also part of importer’s duty.

Kashif Nazir appearing for main respondent Director Intelligence & Investigation submitted that the consignment was cleared by the collectorate but the DIT detected the fiscal fraud and detained the consignment. It is a perfect case for fine and penalty submitted Kashif Nazeer Advocate.

The counsel for petitioner on a query by the court said he is ready to pay fine and penalty also.

The bench after this statement directed the petitioner to pay the custom duty and taxes to the collectorate concerned while securing amount of fine and penalty with the Nazir of the court.

The bench then parting with the order ordered that in case the petition is dismissed, the amount of fine and penalty would be confiscated.