DIT questions adjudication of mega steel KEPZ scam on the basis of poor, defective contravention reports

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigations has questioned the adjudication of contravention cases against Royal Impex, Messrs Balochistan Engineering, Zubair Steel, Rizwan and Brothers and others and requested the Collector, Adjudication II to issue fresh show cause notices amending the same and “incorporating true and complete adverse material”.

The Director of DIT in a letter dated 17-01-2020 wrote a letter to the Collector Adjudication II, Muhammad Iqbal Bhawana referring to later’s letter dated 13-01-2020 in which the DIT was informed that the adjudication proceedings have been held on the basis of contravention reports made by the Port Muhammad Bin Qasim Collectorate and soon Order in Original will be passed. The Collector Adjudication maintained in the said letter that there is no need to issue fresh show cause notices in the same matter and such an exercise will be in violation of Article 13 of the Constitution of Pakistan which pertains to “Protection against double punishment and self-incrimination”.

The DIT in its letter dated Jan17 maintains that the matter is still under adjudication and hence the Article 13 referred to by the Collector Adjudication is not attracted. Instead the letter reminds the Collector Adjudication that adjudication proceedings will be vitiated if the accused parties were not given sufficient time and opportunity of being heard and must be confronted with true and complete adverse material available against them and part of the contravention reports made by the DIT. The DIT dubs the contravention reports by the Port Muhammad Bin Qasim (KEPZ) Collectorate as being defective and incomplete as material evidence collected by the detecting collectorate i.e. DIT was not incorporated in the reports on which adjudication proceedings are being held. The deficient contravention reports will lead to an ONO in favour of the cartel involved in “economic terrorism” as described by the DIT.

The mega scam involves over 300 consignments imported from time to time and amount of duty and taxes evaded may rise to billions of rupees. The case has poised the DIT bent upon proving its case against the accused companies while Adjudication Collectorate is apprantly bracing to give advantage of adjudication proceedings to the accused parties who will be benefitted from faulty and incomplete contravention reports.

It is worth mentioning that according to the DIT’s letter “the main accused parties who opened LC’s and arranged transfer of precious foreign exchange abroad from Pakistan were not served with show cause notice” and this lapse if correct will prove fatal to detection and conclusion of the mega scam causing loss of revenue of billions of rupees.

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