SHC summons Nazir during proceedings, asked to secure clear report from testing agencies

KARACHI: Expressing displeasure over vague, inconclusive findings of a test/ report by laboratory/testing agency, a custom appellate bench of High Court of Sindh comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Mahmood A Khan on Tuesday summoned Nazir of SHC to appear before it.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Faisal Arif Ltd which imported a consignment of sugar which was detained by the customs on sole ground of “color” of the sugar.

Earlier counsel for the petitioner brought report of the Nazir dated 23-9-2019 along with reports from three other testing agencies and said as per international standards, the imported sugar is fit for human consumption as it does not contain Sulphur di-oxide or heavy metals including Arsenic, Lead, Copper, Iron and Zinc.

He also contended that the customs has no jurisdiction in respect of imports under Afghan Transit Trade and any action contrary to this would be violative of Afghanistan, Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA).

As the counsel went into details of tests, the bench said that instead of wasting time it should be informed that whether it is fit for human consumption or not. The bench then summoned the Nazir to appear and explain that why this decisive aspect was not addressed clearly in the reports. Millions have been given to these testing agencies for report but it is unclear. The entire burden is placed on courts, the bench observed directing the Nazir to convey displeasure of court to testing services and to ask them to clearly state that whether the tested item is fit for human consumption or not. The bench with the above direction put off further hearing for a short date.

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