SHC dismisses SCRA’s by Custom Valuation

KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) dismissed a number of identical Special Customs Reference Applications filed by DG, Custom Valuation deciding the issue that whether the Director General, Valuation could enhance value of any item, add or determine value of a new item exercising “Revision Jurisdiction” jurisdiction under Section 25-D of the Customs Act, 1969 while deciding a Revision filed by an aggrieved person against a Valuation Ruling issued in terms of Section 25.

The bench heard Mrs Masooda Siraj Advocate for the applicant department and counsel for respondent importers and while holding that this question of law has already decided in a case reported as Director General Customs Valuation versus Al Amin Cera (2019 PTD 301). The application are thus misconceived and dismissed, the bench ordered.

Following is the text of the order:

Director General Customs Valuation Vs. M/s. Carewell Traders along with connected SCRA Nos. 212 to 225 of 2017

1.    Through these Reference Applications, the Applicant / Department has impugned a common judgment dated 13.02.2017 passed by the Customs Appellate Tribunal at Karachi in Customs Appeal Nos. K-2162/2016 and other connected matters by proposing various questions of law. However, at the very outset, after going through the order of the Tribunal, we have confronted the learned Counsel for the Applicant as to how the Director General (Valuation) could enhance value of any item; or even add or determine value of a new item, while exercising Revision jurisdiction under Section 25-D of the Customs Act, 1969 while deciding a Revision filed by an aggrieved person against a Valuation Ruling issued in terms of s.25A  ibid by the Director Valuation, as apparently the law in this regard is now settled by a Division Bench Judgment of this Court reported as Director General Customs Valuation v Al Amin Cera (2019 PTD 301) and she is not in a position to satisfactorily respond, except that these Reference Applications were filed earlier in time and the judgment was pronounced thereafter. This on perusal of the record appears to be correct.

2.    The learned Division Bench had before it various questions; however, question No.2 therein is the crux of these Reference Applications i.e. (2) Whether a customs value determined in terms of section 25A can be enhanced by the Director General of Valuation under section 25D? and the Court had answered the same in negative against the Applicant department and in favor of the Importers / Respondents. In the circumstances, since the issue already stands decided as above, all these Reference Applications being misconceived are hereby dismissed for the reasons so assigned in the reported judgment as above. Let copy of this order be sent to Appellate Tribunal Customs in terms of sub-section (5) of Section 196 of Customs Act, 1969. Office is directed to place copy of this order in connected Reference Applications as above.

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