SHC disposes of petitions pertaining to alleged mega steel import scam

KARACHI: About a dozen of petitions pertaining to steel import were disposed of here on Friday by a division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Mahmood Ahmed Khan.

The petitioners include Balochistan Engineering Works Ltd, Rubina Begum, Muhammad Amin Mithani, Muhammad Uzair, Huzaifa Sachwani, Muhammad Zubair Gheewala, Muhammad Rizwan, Mirza Muhammad Abbas, Procon Engineering (Pvt) Ltd,  Hassan Steel and others. importers of prime quality iron and steel products,

The bench perused the Order in Original as the petitions were taken up for hearing. Syed Mehmood Alam Rizvi, counsel for Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigations submitted that during adjudication proceedings, the adjudicating authority did not  considered the contravention report submitted by the DIT and ONO is based on faulty, incomplete contravention report submitted by the collectorate concerned. The bench refused to entertain such request and said the best remedy available to the DIT is to question the ONO before the Special Customs Appellate Tribunal.

The bench in view of the ONO ordered the petitioners facing FIR’s to surrender before the Special Customs Court in a week time while they were asked to deposit a surety of rupees 100,000 each.

The bench also ordered release of goods in  terms of ONO. The Collector Adjudication, Iqbal Bhawana has ordered release of goods on payment of custom duty, taxes, penalty and redemption fine at a rate of 35 per cent.

The bench on a previous date heard Rana Sakhawat Advocate, counsel for main petitioner  Balochistan Engineering who submitted that imported items were classifiable under Chapter 72 of Pakistan Customs Tariff under relevant sub-chapter heading “Others”. He further submitted that respondents did not accept such declaration of petitioner and made provisional assessment on the basis of London Metal Exchange (LME) price which is not acceptable to the petitioner. However before consignment of petitioner could be released, four show cause notices were issued in respect of  four Goods Declarations of the petitioner by Collector Customs (Adjudication II) wherein it was alleged that petitioner goods are not of prime quality. The counsel further submitted that petitioner is ready to attend the adjudicating proceedings.

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