KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Zulfikar Ahmed Khan on Thursday directed the custom officials of Port Muhammad Bin Qasim Collectorate to consider the application of a petitioner for release of consignments of plastic scrap strictly in accordance with law.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Shahzad Industries through their counsel Umer Farooq Advocate. The petitioner maintains that he is a regular importer of plastic scrap from different countries of the world but recently custom authorities have detained their consignments on ground that petitioner is evading Additional Sales Tax and Income Tax by availing concession allowed to manufacturing units while petitioner has no manufacturing unit as claimed.
Umer Farooq advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted that customs officers got enraged after petitioner filed a petition before SHC as customs disallowed an earlier application for change of consignee’s name. The said petition CP-D-42 of 2018 was decided in favor of the petitioner and to escape from implementation of directions issued by the court, the custom officials decided to foist case against owner of the Shahzad Industries who was then implicated in a case FIR SI/ MISC/31/2019/PQ-CIU.
The counsel besides seeking release of the consignments also sought quashing of FIR as Special Customs Court at Karachi is lying vacant since many months adding to the misery of importers/accused persons. The petitioner has also challenged the jurisdiction of the custom authorities in respect of previous consignments and maintains that it was the domain of IRS and Income Tax department to look into any evasion of Sales Tax or Income Tax.
The bench after hearing arguments in details by counsel for petitioner issued pre-admission notice to the respondents as well as Deputy Attorney General for May 08. In the meanwhile, the court directed the custom authorities to consider the application of petitioner for provisional release of the consignments in accordance with law and subject to fulfillment of all codal formalities and securing the disputed amount of duty and taxes before the concerned collectorate in the shape of pay order/ bank guarantee.