KARACHI: A classic case of abuse of process of court, twisting of procedure, managing fixation dates to get the matter fixed before a particular bench of High Court of Sindh will be heard on May 31 just ahead of summer vacations.

As per details, a Constitution Petition 1705/2024 has been filed by Messer’s China Textile Curtains & Blanket Industry and One-more Industry, Bara. Peshawar through one Muhammad Ayuob as Attorney. The authorization is missing with the petition yet the petition was accepted and placed before a division bench of the High Court of Sindh. The issue of maintainability was not raised by the office which is a violation of SOP in the writ branch and amounts to circumventing the set procedure, even violation of Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, issued in recent judgement in revenue matters.

A senior lawyer near and dear to the top judge appeared before the SHC bench in disposed off case and filed review of earlier order, wherein the Court ordered issuance of notice, seeking comments with copies in advance to the petitioners. The bench also restrained the customs from taking any adverse action against the petitioners including auction of consignments which are the subject matter of the petition till next date.

The next hearing date was fixed for 21.5.2024 when petition was fixed before a new bench and while counsel for respondent Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement) West expressed readiness to argue the petition without filing any comments but interestingly counsel for the stranger petitioner pleaded for giving time to the respondent side for filing comments/counter etc.

The bench adjourned the matter for hearing till May 31, when petition is likely to be fixed before Bench No.1, as petitioner side is managing the fixation despite the fact that fixation of cases before High Court of Sindh is automated.

As per background the present petitioner China Textile seeks amendment in IGM (Import General Manifest) while consignments are shipped in the name of original consignee Messer’s Premium Textile Blanket Industry, Bara Bazar, Khyber.

Messer’s Premium Textile is facing two F.I.R No 03 of 2024 and 04 of 2024, lodged by Model Custom Collectorate on charge of abusing “Authorization” under Export Facilitation Scheme (EFS) under which it was granted permission to import Ladies and Gents Suiting, Curtains and other fabric for export of finished goods. The said unit was established in 119.2023 having a storage capacity of 6000 MT with production capacity of 10800 MT. It was alleged that said unit imported 117 consignments/filed GDs involving Rupees 1.6 billion in duty and taxes.

It is worth mentioning that two writ petitions filed by Noor Hawas Khan owner of Premium Textile & Blanket Industry bearing No WP 1107-P/2024 and WP 1240-P/2024 are pending before Peshawar High Court. As such the petition before SHC becomes redundant in view of Show Cause Notice issued by MCC Peshawar as well as litigation before Peshawar High Court. No one has yet appeared on behalf of Peshawar Collectorate nor submitted any reply which reflects no notice has been issued or got served by a stranger petitioner.

The hearing on May 31 becomes important and interesting that whether law and procedure will prevail or same will be circumvented by petitioner who is stranger to the controversy and in essence is abetting and conniving to get the detained consignments which have arrived at port in the name of original consignee/accused in two FIRs, released.