KARACHI : The quashing of ten FIRs by Special Court for Custom .& Anti-smuggling on weak reasoning left the department perplexed and dented its efforts of anti smuggling, money laundering as an organised crime in collusion with corrupt custom officials.
The FIRs were lodged by Directorate of I& I Pakistan Customs under Section 2 s,19,26,32(1)& (2),32A, 79, 192&207 of Customs Act 1969 besides relevant sections of Income Tax, Sales Tax, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, EPZA Rules 1981 and Import & Export Control Act. The main allegation was of abusing the Export Processing Zone facilities and flight of foreign exchange, evasion of duty and taxes to the tune of more than two crore rupees.
In utter surprise the trial court in a haste decided the fates of FIRs pertaining to biggest ever fiscal fraud detected by the Directorate of I&I.
The trial court erred when it relied on a judgment by Sindh High Court which held that detention og goods meant for KEPZ by I&I at port is illegal. The second ground for quashingvaas that the goods in dispute have been cleared and consumed and hence re_assesment would not ge possible. On the two reasons the trial court reacted the conclusion that trial would be an exercise in futility.
According to the lawyers and official’s officials, the trial court failed to appreciate the order on which order if quashing is vowed that SHC has allowed I&I to proceed against accused persons 8 strictly in accordance with law if they have concrete material. Further the trial court erred in appreciating the sections under which FIRs were lodged including the FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act).
The order let the accused involved in huge fiscal scam scot free, sources familiar with the court proceedings said and eegerrdd to another incident of grant of baul to an importer within few days.