KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) asked the counsel for Superintedent ASU, DIT Dost Muhammad to produce evidence or document to prove tampering of documents by the petitioner company/steel importer.
The bench comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Abdul Malik Gaddi was hearing a contempt application filed by Steel Vision alleging that even their counsel was intercepted and dragged out of the vehicle by the Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASU) men.
As the proceedings commenced counsel for applicant/petitioner said that action was taken by the alleged contemnor exceeding jurisdiction. The consignments were meant for Karachi Export Processing Zone (KEPZ).
It was pointed out that taking advantage of court’s order which required the clearance/release of consignment in the presence of alleged contemnor, the release was delayed and one consignment was released in a day resulting in demurrage worth rupees 60 million. All proceedings were based on vendetta of a single officer, the counsel for petitioner contended.
Syed Mhemood Alam Rizvi advocate appearing for the alleged contemnor maintained that it was a case of tampering of record. He alleged that original importer was Zubair Steel which was not registered at KEPZ. In order to get the consignments released GD’s were filed on behalf of Steel Vision and the alleged misdeclaration was detected as the LC numbers were identical.
The bench at this stage raised many questions and observed that how documents can be scrutinised by the officials concerned. This would make the imports and business most difficult, the bench said.
The bench also asked the counsel for alleged contemnor/ASU Superintendent to tell the court that which section of law/customs act 1969 has been violated by the petitioner swinging them into action. Do you have any document submitted by Zubair Steel to prove that LC numbers are same, the bench asked while deferring further proceedings till March 26.
The case if turns into a factual case, involves 208 consignments and lay yield billons of rupees into taxes.