KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan and Justice Adnan Iqbal allowed a constitutional petition filed by ARA Detergents & Chemical FZE allowing re-export of Mixed Xylene. The bench dismissed the connected Special Customs Reference Application (SCRA) filed by the Customs Department.

The bench earlier heard Ali Almani Advocate counsel for department. As per details, a vessel MT Morioka berthed at Karachi port and the vessel Master filed a VIR and IGM on the basis of cargo on board. It was declared that cargo is of Mixed Xylene under 19 Bills of Lading. The cargo was stated to be loaded from Oman but Custom on the basis of documents recovered from vessel found it to be loaded from BIK, Iran.

The customs let this fact known to the importers who told custom officials that in view of dispute, they want to cancel their contract.

The Master of vessel during probe admitted that cargo was of Iranian origin and that he is ready to pay penalty but requested that he may be allowed to leave immediately after payment of penalty. The customs later confiscated the consignment on ground that it belong to Espahan Petroleum Company while consinger ARADC was not made part of proceedings.

ARCDA filed an appeal before tribunal which was allowed and re-export was allowed under section 138 of the Customs Act 1969. The department filed the Special Custom Reference Appli against order of Special Custom Appellate Tribunal while ARCDA filed a constitutional petition seeking enforcement of order of the Appellate Tribunal.

Ali Almani Advocate impugned the judgment on ground that tribunal do not have jurisdiction to hear appeal against order passed by Additional Collector of Custom under section 138. Dr shahab Imam and Rana Sakhawat Advocate represented the Petitioner ARCDA and submitted that only ARCDA came forward to claim ownership of the consignment. They argued that during hearing of application for permission to re-export and adjudication proceedings ARCDA or Espahan Petroleum Company was made party.

The SHC bench after detailed hearing allowed the Petition filed by ARCDA while SCRA filed by the department was dismissed.