Pakistan Customs files appeal against SHC order UNFIT Indian sugar for Afghanistan under APTTA

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Transit Trade , Pakistan Customs has filed an appeal before Supreme Court of Pakistan assailing judgment of Custom Appellate bench of High Court of Sindh in sugar transited to Afghanistan from India.

About 262 containers of the Indian White Sugar have been detained by the Pakistan Custom Authorities as the consignments were detained for checking and found to be of having unusual color besides pungent smell.

The appellant department raising the questions of law stated in the leave to appeal that whether in the presence of statutory remedy under section 79, 193, 194-A and 196, after issuance of show cause notice, petition was maintainable.

The second attack on the judgment was of sampling as according to the appellant department composite sample was taken after mixing 65 samples and said such action of obtaining sample by the Nazir of SHC was against the international practices also followed by Pakistan Customs.

The appeal also contains excerpts from laboratory test reports by HEJ, SGS and PCSIR which declared the samples as “not suitable for human consumption” on the basis of “distinct brown color and pungent odour”.

The appeal says that consignments in dispute did not have month and year of packing which raises doubt about fitness of the Indian White Sugar.

The appellant maintains that the entire action was taken under section 3 AA of Customs Act 1969 read with SRO 932 (1) of 2012, SRO 638 (1) 2015, Rules 484-Q of SRO 121 (1) of 2014 read with section VII titled Custom Control and Article 5 of the Afghan, Pakistan Trade Agreement 2010 after credible information that the goods in dispute were contrary to declaration given .

It was also maintained that the sugar was from “enemy country India” and thus department was under obligation to check every consignment because of prevailing  security situation.

The appellant prayed to the apex court to allow leave to appeal besides staying implementation on impugned judgment till decision in the instant appeal.

The SHC bench while allowing petition for release of the consignments asked the custom officials to ensure safe transit of the same to the Afghan border and also sought a compliance report.

Afghan Consulate at Karachi is alleged to be very active in getting the consignments released besides it , in routine is trying to pressurize the custom officials in other transit goods also.

The Pakistani officials including Director General Transit Trade Sarfraz Warraich, Director Miss Zeba Bashir and Additional Director Rehmatullah Vistro, the officials at Quetta, Chaman and Peshawar are closely evaluating the Afghan Transit trade to check any abuse of trade treaty between two Muslim countries. The vigorous effort is aimed at checking smuggling in and out of Pakistan detrimental to national security and economic interest of local manufacturers.

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