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SHC bars customs officials from taking action against M/s Supreme Terminal Pvt Ltd

SHC bars customs officials from taking action against M/s Supreme Terminal Pvt Ltd

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed customs officials that till then the respondents shall not take any coercive action against the petitioner including forwarding the case of petitioner to FBR for cancellation of registration under WeBOC on a constitutional petition filed by M/s Supreme Terminal Pvt Ltd.

On 26 October 2020 a two-member bench also issued notices to customs authorities and deputy attorney general for November 11, 2020.

During the hearing, Sohail Muzaffar along with Maimoona Nasreen advocates for the petitioner submitted that the controversy, as raised in this matter regarding installation of scanners and alleged violation of the customs rules, 2001, is pending before this court in a number of petitions including CP 458 of 2018 and 2648 of 2019, wherein, ad-interim orders have been passed on Jan 24, 2019 and April 23, 2019, respectively.

They further submitted that the petitioner’s case is identical to the cases referred above and in support he has referred to copies of the security guarantees at page 23 onwards.

Earlier, petitioner stated in its petition that petitioner established its off-dock terminals in the year 2019 for the purpose of handling, dealing and storing containers on a 20 acres in southern western industrial zone at Port Qasim and function of the respondents to depute a subordinate staff to escort the containers from port who was to report back the safe storage at the petitioner’s terminal to assure that nothing is removed or no illegality has been committed while transporting the container to the terminal and for the purpose of security the CCTV system was installed to assure the safety of containers and cargo and all facilities and cooperation is being provided to the customs staff for smooth functioning.

They argued that in March 2020, a message was received that an off-dock terminal is required to install a scanner to scan the container which enters the off-dock terminal after being unloaded at the terminal where the ship is anchored.

Citing Collector of Customs MCCA West, Port Qasim and chairman FBR as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to declare that petitioner is not liable to install a scanner as is being demanded by the respondents as all containers which come to off-dock terminal are scanned at the terminals where they are off loaded and even otherwise the off dock terminal basically function as a bounded warehouse.