KARACHI: A custom appellate bench of High Court of Sindh ordered a Deputy Collector of Pakistan Customs to pay Rupees 25,000 from his personal account in favor of Sindh High Court Clinic.

The bench was hearing a constitution petition filed by one Mukhtar Ahmed against Pakistan Customs for allegedly holding consignments of the petitioner on the basis of an un-related F.I.R.

As the petition came up for hearing , a counsel for respondent custom officer took the plea that since an F.I.R  has been lodged therefore unless accusations as demonstrated for the subject goods in the referred F.I.R are resolved or set at rest the goods cannot be released in view of Section 186 of the Customs Act 1969.

The  court brushed aside the said plea at which the counsel realized that argument advanced by him is not valid and said consignments will be released forthwith.

The bench observed that the respondent custom officers un-necessarily and un-lawfully under the garb of an F.I.R as relied upon and on the strength of Section 186 of the Custom Act has held that other consignments of the petitioner (FIR not related to subject consignment). The relevant section does not identify the word ‘prosecution’ which at the most can be initiated on the strength of F.I.R.

The bench with the above observation ordered that “the concerned officer, Deputy Collector or Collector who has held the consignment is directed to deposit a sum of Rupees 25,000 as cost  in two weeks for un-necessarily  delaying this process of release of goods without any lawful excuse as conceded. The amount shall be paid by the concerned officer from their own account”.

The bench then disposed of the petition as having served its purpose.