QUETTA: Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has dismissed the petitions filed by Chairman FBR regarding assessment of Pistachio (shelled and unshelled) imported from Iran via land route and upheld the decision of High Court that imposition of Valuation Ruling 1031/2017 is illegal, which effectively ended a plot hatched to malign Member Customs Policy and Member Customs Operations.

Customs Intelligence and Investigation Quetta had made this case of non-application of Valuation Ruling. I&I Quetta mentioned non-application of Valuation Ruling No 1031/2017 in assessment of Pistachio as goods are being assessed at $1.2S instead of $2.97, which resulted in loss of revenue to tune of Rs.854 million during 2019-2020.

In response to the report made by I&I Quetta, then Collector Quetta noted the authors of the inquiry report had deliberately tried to mislead the Board and higher authorities by suppressing, concealing and withholding crucial facts and misrepresenting other crucial events, procedures and happenings in respect of most of the issues discussed in the said lopsided report.

He said the entire report was based on misrepresentation of facts and conjectures and conclusions drawn on the basis of assumptions.

Moreover, deciding a contravention regarding import of Pistachio from Iran, Collector Adjudication I, Karachi Sanaullah Abro held that charge of evasion of duty and taxes on account of  non-application of Valuation Ruling 1031/2017 for assessment of customs value of Pistachio imported through Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement) Quetta were not established against the importers.

Based on the case of I&I Quetta, consignments of importers were blocked. Two importers including M/s Meerab Enterprises and M/s Hi-Tech Lubricants approached High Court challenging the implementation of VR. High Court after detailed deliberation of the case ruled that assessment of goods under Section 25 of Customs Act is justified and considered implementation of VR illegal.

Saeed Jadoon was Collector Quetta then, later he was Member FBR Policy (Customs). In order to discourage smuggling, he used his discretionary powers to assess imports from Iran via land route under Section 25.

Sources said a group of Customs officers including one BS-22 officer, one BS-21 officer posted in Lahore and several BS-20 officers were propagating this case that action should be taken against the officers that have been posted in Quetta. The aim was to damage the reputation of Member Operation (Customs) and Member Policy (Customs).