SHC summons custom officials on May 17 in vehicles case

KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan on Wednesday grilled the counsel appearing for Pakistan Customs, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim in a number of petitions filed by an importer of Hino trucks.

A counsel for petitioner appearing before the bench submitted that eight trucks imported were gate charged after completion of all formalities but a few days later, a customs party seized them. No show cause was issued. The adjudicating authority allowed the release of trucks on payment of fine of 20 per cent against value of each vehicle. The Special Customs Appellate Tribunal also ruled in favor of the petitioner while rejecting all the appeals filed by the department yet, the release of the vehicles is delayed.

The bench was angered and asked what the custom officials are doing. How can a consignment of an importer can be detained without any sanction of law. Under what law the out of charge vehicles were seized, the bench inquired from Masooda Siraj advocate appearing for the respondents who tried to defend the act of respondents by saying that the there was a charge of misdeclaration.

You must said frankly and assist the court by laying the legal position before the court, the bench observed adding that “do not defend the court to such an extent”. You all submissions are in the air, the bench said asking her to appear before the court on May 17 along with all the respondent officers on next date of hearing to explain the reasons for inordinate delay in release of the imported vehicles.

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