KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) connected several constitutional petitions regarding lodging first information reports (FIRs) against clearing agents of M/s Ali & Co and others, who were nominated in mega tax evasion scam. On 11 November 2019, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi also directed officials of customs department to file their comments on next date of hearing.
During the hearing, counsel for the petitioners Muhammad Ahsan, Muhammad Idress, Muhammad Ali and Qaiser Abbbas filed a constitutional petition and informed the court that the above mentioned suspects are under judicial custody facing trial in criminal cases registered against the importers, wherein petitioners have been implicated on the false and frivolous allegations to whom concessions of bail have been granted to them by the customs court.
He further submitted that neither the petitioners have been authorized by the alleged importers in terms of section 208(1) of the customs act, 1969 in respect of alleged goods of home appliances and furniture etc stuffed in container no MRKU-5923811 nor the goods declaration has been filed under section 79 of the customs act, 1969 either by petitioners or importers for customs clearance under section 80 read with section 83 of the customs act, A969, despite of that criminal proceedings have been lodged on allegation of commission of offence of mis-declaration of description, weight, quantity and value of goods stuffed in aforesaid container wherein the petitioners have implicated on presumption of involvement in the offence of mis-declaration.
Citing chairman FBR, Collector of Customs Appraisement West, Appraising Officer Shehzad Alam as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to quash the criminal proceedings initiated pursuant to said FIR to the extent of the petitioners being illegal, without lawful authority. He further pleaded the court may restrain them from taking any coercive action under the garb of criminal proceedings initiated pursuant to the impugned FIR no 13/2019.