KARACHI: Three identical petitions seeking release of consignments provisionally under section 81 of the Customs Act 1967 were disposed of by the Custom Appellate bench of High Court of Sindh with directions to the petitioners to approach the Custom Collectorate concerned.
The Chief Collector of Custom was also served with a copy of the order directing compliance essentially decision of applications by petitioners/ importers without any delay.
The bench earlier heard Amir Ali Shaikh and Irfan Ali Shaikh advocates appearing for the petitioner companies/ importers.
At the outset of hearing, the bench comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan confronted the counsel over maintainability in the absence of any adverse order passed by the custom officials against them.
The counsel for petitioners submitted that instead non passing of orders on the application moved under section 81 or section 25-A of Customs Act 1967, they were left with no other option but to seek indulgence of the court.
The court observed that this arguments cannot be the valid ground for invoking jurisdiction of SHC under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The bench noted that Courts are already burdened under petitions which do not involve any substantial question of law or violation of laws. The bench also noted that in a number of identical nature of petitions, the same were disposed of with directions to custom officers concerned.
The bench following the pattern also disposed of these petitions with directions to the petitioners to approach the custom collectorates concerned. The bench also ordered sending of copies of the order passed in these petitions to the Chairman FBR and Chief Collector of Custom, Karachi. The bench asked the Chairman FBR to ensure that his sub-ordinates decide applications of petitioners/importer without any delay.