KARACHI: On July 13, 2022, the President of Pakistan rejected a representation filed by the apex revenue body, FBR, against an aggrieved order  made by the FTO in a complaint against the Collector MCC (Enforcement & Compliance), Peshawar for failing to release seized goods to the complainants in pursuant to Order-in-Remand passed by the collector, (Adjudication) Islamabad.

FTO had ordered FBR to pay compensation to the complainant equal to the market price of the destroyed   goods receivers with valid NOCS that were lawfully imported into the country. Brief facts of the case are that the joint Team of MCC, (Enforcement & Compliance) Peshawar, the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (Customs), FIA and PEMRA seized foreign origin digital receivers from the shop of the complainant. The complainant filed appeal before Customs Appellate Tribunal, (CAT) Peshawar which vide Order–in Appeal remanded the case back to the Collector, (Adjudication), Islamabad.

The Collector (Adjudication) ordered unconditional release of those digital receivers, which were lawfully imported on the basis of GDs provided by the complainant, while ordered confiscation of those receivers, which could not be verified .The complainant approached the FTO for release of seized goods and he also prayed that if the goods were not available/illegally destroyed, compensation equal to market value of the seized goods should be paid to him.

Federal Tax Ombudmsan Asif Mehmood Jah has observed that the Deptt acted in haste and destroyed the seized goods without awaiting for the outcome of remand proceedings. No evidence was furnished to establish that the goods were not matched with GDs/NOC provided by the complainant. The seized goods were neither perishable items nor had become unfit for human consumption, hence, invoking Section 169 (4) of the Customs ACT to dispose of the seized goods before finalization of adjudication proceedings was not justified.

FTO’s order further stated that the goods were unlawfully destroyed, therefore, the complainant is entitled to compensation equal to the market price in respect of lawfully imported receivers with valid NOCs and directed FBR to investigate the irregularities committed by the Senior Officials in this regard.