KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Omar Sial on Tuesday directed the custom authorities to release the consignments Grey Fabric in a week or appear in person before the court on Dec 07.

The order came during hearing of contempt of court applications filed by importers of Grey Fabric from Dubai including Horizon International and others seeking implementation of order passed by SHC in a number of identical petitions involving detention of grey fabric allegedly of Indian origin.

The bench perused the copy of the order passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal filed by Collectorate of Port Muhammad Bin Qasim. The bench noted that no stay order was passed by the apex court. The bench said in view of legal position, respondents/alleged contemnors are bound to release the consignments in dispute. The bench put of further proceedings till Dec 07 asking the Pakistan Custom’s officials to either release the consignments by Dec 07 or appear in person so that contempt proceedings be initiated against them.

The apex court bench a fortnight back granted leave to appeals which will heard on a date to be fixed by the office of the Supreme Court.

The department challenged common judgment in a number of petitions filedby Horizon International and other importers who imported grey fabric from UAE, Duabi declaring the consignments to be of China origion.

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 allowing the appeals ordered release of the consignments on payment of custom duty and other taxes but the department preferred an appeal against this order.