SHC declines to adjudicate ‘factual’ controversy Qasim Cloth House dismissed

KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh dismissed a petition filed by importer of cloth on technical ground.

The bench heard Kashif Nazeer advocate, counsel for petitioner company Qasim Cloth House which challenged seizure of cloth in alleged huge quantity, stored at Riyaz Godown, Queens Road, Karachi.

As the case was taken up, Khalid Rajper advocate appearing for the Pakistan Customs, Collector of Customs Preventive & Enforcement stated that a Show Cause Notice has been issued to the petitioner company.

The counsel for petitioner submitted that Show Cause Notice was issued illegally without alwful authority. He prayed to the court to order release of the goods seized during alleged raid at the gowdown.

As per customs, a raid was conducted at Riyaz Gowdown under section 163 of the Customs Act 1969. One Qasim Khan appeared during the raid and claimed ownership of the cloth found at the premises under raid. It was also proved that Qasim Khan is tenant of Riyaz Gowdown for the year 2020 and a rent agreement also exists. The owner also presented documents including GDs filed in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

The customs found a committee to verify the genuineness of import documents which held that documents submitted are fake and managed and that the goods seized have been smuggled into the country. The criminal proceedings were also initiated against the petitioner company which challenged the seizure filing the instant petition.

The SHC bench after hearing the sides declined to adjudicate the matter on ground that it cannot go into factual controversy.

The bench dismissed the petition with direction to the customs to decide the case within maximum period of 30 days from the date of order passed by this court.

The petitioner was also set at liberty to seek legal remedy against criminal proceedings and liability if any.

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