KARACHI: Customs & Sales Practitioners Association through its secretary has approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) and filed a constitutional petition seeking an order for appointment of members and chairman of customs appellate tribunal under section 194 of the act, 1969.
On 13 September 2020, counsel for the petitioner stated that the chairman of customs appellate tribunal appointed under section 194 of the customs act, 1969 constituted division benches and six single benches consisting three judicial members and three technical members appointed under section 194 of the customs act, 1969 to exercise powers an discharge the functions conferred on the appellate tribunal by the customs act.
He submitted that the provision of section 194 was subsituted through tax laws (second amendment) ordinance 2019 under which appointments of member and chairman of customs appellate tribunal to be made in such numbers and in such manner as prescribed by rules, which may be made and shall take effect notwithstanding anything contained in section 219 or any other law or rules fo the time.
Counsel aruged that after subsitution of section 194 of the customs act, 1969 on Dec 28, 2019 neither rules under section 194 have been framed nor approved by the ministry of law for appointments of members and chairman of customs appellate tribunal on the other hand the post of members and chairman and already appointed tribunal have become vacant due to which the customs appellate tribunal and its benches in Karachi could not exercise the powers and discharge functions conferred on it by the customs act, 1969.
Citing Ministry of Law, chairman FBR and assistant registrar customs appellate tribunal as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to direct them to appoint judicial and technical members including chairman of customs appellate tribunal for constitution of benches in Karachi forthwith or expeditiously to exercise powers and to discharge functions conferred on tribunal under the customs act, 1969 and rules made there under.
He further pleaded the court to direct chairman FBR to refrain from taking any adverse action against the litigants whose appeals and applications are pending for hearings and appropriate order before the non functional customs appellate tribunal, Karachi bench.