SHC adjourns hearing in petitions challenging detention of goods

KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan adjourned proceedings in a number of identical petitions.

As the hearing in petitions commenced, counsel for one of the petitioners on a query by the court submitted that the matter pertains to Sales Tax and Income Tax and IRS is the relevant department. The Customs department has no role in it yet they have lodged FIRs.

Kashif Nazeer advocate appearing for Pakistan Customs submitted that it was a case of recovery of duty and taxes while consignments in dispute are available at the port. The name of the petitioner shall show on Active Tax Payers List, next contended the counsel for Pakistan Customs. Whenever there is a mis-declaration, the customs has a role and duty to collect the levies due, he said relying on section 79 read with section 32 of the Customs Act 1969.

The court disagreeing with the contentions observed that the IRS department is the department concerned and they have to decide that whether an importer is entitled to concession or exemption. The lodging of the FIR is unwarranted, observed the bench. Don’t try to be more loyal to the King, the bench remarked while deferring further proceedings.

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