SHC reserves judgment in huge bunch of Afghan Transit Container cases

KARACHI: The judgment was reserved in about 2200 Special Custom Reference Applications pending since a decade and some of them pertains to 2007-2008 by a Customs Appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Agha Faisal here on Tuesday.

Khalid Rajper Advocate appeared for the Collector Customs in SCRAs against National Logistic Cell (NLC) and importers/agents including Kundi Services, Security Packers etc who were accused of pilferage of containers crossing Pakistani border into Afghanistan. These cases were once known as NATO container case and it was alleged that arms and ammunition destine for Allied Forces in Afghnistan were pilfered. The issue was heard by Supreme Court of Pakistan also in Karachi Law and Order Dsiruption (Karachi Badamni Case).

The bench at the outset said that SCRAs are not maintainable as this court in its appellate jurisdiction cannot go into factual controversies. The bench said that only relevant point needs to be addressed is that who was liable for alleged pilferage.

The counsel for applicant maintained that NLC was responsible as it was supposed to submit Cross Border Certificates (CBC) for each container which crossed Pakistan’s territory and entered into Afghanistan. These containers were entrusted to the NLC, he added.

The bench also heard Zain Jatoi advocate, counsel for agents and later after hearing arguments from both sides for about an hour, reserved judgment.

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