KARACHI: A Customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi & Mr. Justice Agha Faisal decided a petition against Intellectual Property Rights department of Pakistan Customs as petitioner F.A.S Enterprise opted to join adjudication proceedings.

According to detail the petitioner filing a constitution petition maintained that IPR department has held more than 200 consignments and 195 of them were released after bargain with the importers.

According to the petitioner FAS company, they imported a consignment comprising of Sun glasses, frames and watches which were detained by the respondent IPR on ground that a complaint has been filed with them. A notice of hearing was also purportedly issued to the importer who denied receiving any notice and asked the respondent IPR to release his consignment. The importer also demanded than name of the complainant be disclosed to them.

The petitioner company then through law firm Franklin Law Associates filed the petition maintain that the consignment was detained on fake ground as no complaint or complainant was available on record. It was also submitted that no security of rupees 500,000 was deposited as mandatory under SRO 170/ 2016.

The petitioner also alleged that during previous six months this practice was started by the department and about 200 consignments were detained on identical ground and 195 out of 200 were released after bargain with the importers.

Earlier when the petition came up for hearing, Khalid Daudpota advocate appeared and filed an application on behalf of intervener/complainant maintaining that petitioner has not impleaded his client who has filed a complaint before custom authorities against the petitioner. Masooda Siraj advocate made appearance for the respondent officials and also filed comments along-with annexures.

A counsel from Franklin Law Associates representing the petitioner side filed a statement alongwith a copy of the notice dated 20-6-2018, issued by the Additional Director, Directorate of IPR Enforcement-South, Pakistan Customs. The counsel submitted that since respondents have initiated adjudication proceedings, petitioner is not pressing the instant petition as it wants to join such proceedings by filing response to impugned show cause notice.

The petitioner’s counsel requested the court to direct the respondents to provide full opportunity to petitioner and to pass appropriate order at an early date.

The petitioner’s counsel specifically prayed that respondents be directed to proceed only in respect of such consigngments against which proper, valid complaints have been received and not for the remaining consignments which are importable under the law on payment of duties and taxes.

The bench allowing the prayer by the petitioner directed the respondents to conclude adjudication proceedings within a period of four weeks.

The bench further ordered that consignments which are not under complaint or there is no allegation of being counterfeit, same may be processed in accordance with law and be released subject to payment of duty and taxes.