KARACHI: A plea for provisional release of items detained due to non-payment of demurrage charges filed by Sanva Electric Co was allowed by a custom appellate bench of High Court.

The bench earlier heard counsel from Franklin Law Associates who submitted that delay was not on account of any fault with the petitioner company but with the custom department who have issued a delay detention certificate in terms of section 14 A (2) of the Custom Act 1969.

The counsel for the terminal operator contended that vires of said provision has been challenged before High Court of Sindh and a restraining order is in field. It was pointed out that CP-D 4867 of 2103 filed by some of the container terminals was dismissed by the judgment dated 6-1-2020.

The counsel for terminal operator when confronted with the said fact submitted that an appeal is pending before the apex court and some ad-interim order is operating in favor of terminal operators.

The bench observed that such order is operative inter-parties and is not an order rem whereas the provision of section 14-A is on Statute.

The bench after detailed hearing held that no purpose will be served if the consignments kept detained at the port.

The bench then ordered release of consignment subject to securing of disputed amount of demurrage be secured before the Nazir of the Court by way of a bank guarantee or Pay Order. The Nazir was directed to encash the same and invest in some profitable scheme. The fate of the amount so paid was connected to the final order of the apex court.