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M/s Akhtar & Sons approaches SHC against lodging FIRs for illegal clearance of vehicles

M/s Akhtar & Sons approaches SHC against lodging FIRs for illegal clearance of vehicles

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the customs department on a constitutional petition filed by Muhammad Ramzan Akhtar proprietor of M/s Akhtar & Sons Enterprises for seeking restraining order for further first information reports (FIRs) over allegedly illegal clearance of vehicles on same documents beyond legal entitlement of one vehicle.

On 26 January 2021. during the hearing, counsel for the petitioner argued that subordinates of the customs officials without going into scrutiny/ verification of the import documents and data of the importers allowed the clearance of the two cars against one passport and action of lodging FIR by the subordinates of customs officials was unlawful, unconstitutional and in breach of articles 4, 10A, 25 and 18 of the constitution and also in violation of the principle of natural justice.

He submitted that since there in no evasion of customs duty and taxes the provisions of section 32 of the customs act, 1969 are not applicable in the instant case and petitioner cannot be tired by the court of learned special judge customs Karachi.

Citing chairman FBR, collector of Customs Appraisement East and West as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to direct them not to register FIRs in respect of the goods declaration without issuance/ service of any notice as required under section 32 of the customs act, 1969 and affording opportunity of proper hearing.

Counsel further pleaded the court to direct them not to take any adverse action arrest the petitioner till final decision of the instant petition.

It needs to be mentioned here that investigation officer of Customs of Appraisement East has submitted first information reports (FIRs) before the customs court and informed that customs officials received information, post release audit of released vehicles, it has been observed that overseas Pakistanis Masood Abzar Ali and Ubaidullah have gifted vehicles to their relatives under gift scheme, their authorized accused clearing agent M/s Muhammad Ramzan Akhtar filed goods declarations which were released accordingly.

He further informed the court that during the investigation, it was found that he had shared PRCs and verification of the PRCs received form banks thereof with another clearing agent accused Zahid Hussain & Talib who filed goods declarations on the same document’s same passport and payment receipt certificates. In doing so, the accused overseas Pakistan have gifted two vehicles illegally and are using fake/ forged documents instead of his entitlement of one vehicle as per appendix E of the import policy order 2016.