SHC orders compliance of order passed earlier Shahzad Industries case

KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Adnan Iqbal Chaudhary on Tuesday directed the custom officials of Port Muhammad Bin Qasim (PMBQ) Collectorate to ensure compliance of order passed on 25-4-2019 and submit a compliance report by  May 24, the next date of hearing. The bench also asked the counsel for  Pakistan Customs, PMBQ to file written comments with advance copy to the petitioner within two weeks.

The bench on said date asked the respondent officials to consider the application of Shahzad Industries, petitioner company 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 counsel for petitioner informed the court that respondents are not complying the order passed by the bench.

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.

The petitioner company maintains 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 respondents under the order dated 25-4-2019 are bound to consider application of the 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.

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