SHC tags petition by Interlink with petitions on identical issue of provisional release Chief Collector South summoned in yet another petition

KARACHI: Taking notice of yet another violation of court order in respect of provisional release, Custom appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan summoned Chief Collector of Customs, South to be in attendance on Oct 05 when issue of same nature are fixed before the court.

Earlier Rana Sakhavat Advocate appearing for the petitioner Interlink Corporation submitted that petitioners were directed to approach the concerned officials for provisional release after which pay order of disputed amount was submitted. The said pay order was en-cashed.

As the bench expressed displeasure, Masooda Siraj advocate appearing for the respondent custom officials including AC/DC Port Qasim, submitted that petition became infructuous as final assessment has been made and pay order was encashed. She argued that petitioner can now seek remedy by filing the final order under section 193 of the Customs Act 1969 before the Collector of Appeals.

The counsel for petitioner responded that pay order was submitted to the concerned collectorate for provisional release as per direction of the court but instead and in order to technically defeat the order passed, the respondents got the pay order encashed which is in violation of Court’s order. It is a forcible encashment, argued Rana Sakhavat.

The bench expressing annoyance adjourned further proceedings till Oct 05 when Chief Collector will appear in petitions by Dany Technologies and others. The controversy

pertain to denial of provisional release under section 81. Rana Sakhavat  on previous hearing contended that DC has taken the pretext that petitioner has filed review petition before the Director General Valuation, whereas in terms of Section 25A (4), unless Valuation Ruling is revised or rescinded by the competent authority, such request of petitioner cannot be entertained.

The counsel contended that impugned order is patently illegal and without lawful authority, based on misinterpretation of statutory provisions. It was further contended that an aggrieved party can file a review petition before the DG Valuation within 30 days but this is no bar to file an application for provisional release subject to securing of disputed amount before the Collectorate concerned.till decision by the DG Valuation. An application under section 25A can also be filed after expiry of ninety days from the date of issuance of Valuation Ruling with a request for issuance of fresh Valuation Ruling and during pendency of this application, request for provisional release is entertain-able making the Respondents under legal obligation to pass appropriate orders.

The bench after hearing initial arguments held that point raised needs consideration. It ordered issuance of pre-admission notices to the respondents.

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