KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Adnan-Ul Karim Memon has ordered that there shall not be any delay with regard to release of consignments on pre-text of adjudication proceedings.

The bench was hearing a contempt of court application filed in CP-D 4567 0F 2021 filed by Messers A.R. Industries, Patanwala Traders, Brother Enterprises and S.M. Industries against Chief Collector Customs South Surraya Butt,  Chief Collector MCC Appraisement, East, Additional Collector Appraisement, Examination, East, Deputy Collector Appraisement, East Akmal Durrani and  Assistant Collector Appraisement, Examination, East Ahmed Nawaz and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue.

The bench at the outset referred to its earlier order dated 02-08-2021 and said categorical direction was given to the authorities to release the consignments subject to payment of security including custom duty, taxes other payable etc.

The bench referred to the No Objection given by Khalid Mehmood advocate who appeared for respondents on 02-08-2021 in respect of release of consignments.

Khalid Rajpar advocate who made an appearance for the respondents. It was contended that consignments were mis-declared and were detained. The show cause notices have been issued and authorities are yet to adjudicate the matter with regard to mis-declaration and failure to pay proper duty and taxes etc.

The counsel for Petitioner submitted that in case of one consignment, petitioners have paid an amount of rupees 33,00,000 yet consignment is detained and respondents have failed to comply with the order of the bench/court.

The bench after hearing the sides said that it does not want to dive into factual controversy or merits, assessment or adjudication but confines itself to categorical direction about releasing consignments once security as specified in show cause notices is deposited with the Nazir of SHC.

The bench said that custom officers have powers to amend the assessment under Section 83–B (2) of the Customs Act 1969 and to proceed with Adjudication if there is any fraud / mis-declaration by petitioners but Adjudication proceedings could not be taken as excuse for detaining consignments.

The bench with above order adjourned further proceedings till 31-08-2021.

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