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SHC directs to release consignment imported by M/s M.A International

SHC directs to release consignment imported by M/s M.A International

KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) directed customs officials to immediately release the goods as adjudicated vide order-in-original dated Sep 14, 2019 and if the amount so determined under the said order-in-original including any fine or penalty has been paid then the goods shall be released immediately and compliance report be placed on record before the court on next date of hearing on a constitutional petition filed by M/s M.A International.

On 1 December 2020, during the hearing, Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi, advocate for petitioner, M/s Ashiq Ali Anwar Rana and Khalid Rajpar, advocates along with Muhammad Yaqoob Mako, director intelligence & investigation, Karachi appeared before the court.

During the hearing, customs officials confronted with court order which has been passed on last date of hearing, they have not been able to assist the court as to under what authority of law, the consignment in question was detained after passing of second order-in-original dated Sep 14, 2019 and a third show cause notice was issued.

After the hearing, court observed in its order that “in the circumstance, respondents are directed to immediately release the goods as adjudicated vide order-in-original dated Sep 14, 2019 and if the amount so determined under the said order-in-original including any fine or penalty has been paid then the goods shall be released immediately and compliance report be placed on record on next date of hearing”.

It needs to be mentioned there that on last date of hearing, court has passed order that “it appears that in this matter the consignment imported by the petitioner was first adjudicated pursuant to a show cause notice issued by the principal appraiser, adjudication, vide order dated Sep 02, 2019, however, the consignment was not released and another show  cause notice was issued by the deputy collector adjudication, but notwithstanding the fact that the matter had already been adjudicated upon, passed another order-in-original dated Sep 14, 2019 despite these two orders and compliance by the petitioner, the goods were not released and were apparently detained by the office of director, intelligence & investigation, Karachi.

We have confronted the learned counsel for the said department as to under what authority of law, after passing of order-in-original, the consignment was detained by the director, intelligence & investigation and to this he has not been able to assist this court.

Let director, intelligence & investigation, Karachi be in attendance before the court on Nov 24, 2020 with directions to explain as to under what authority of law, he has detained the goods in respect of which the adjudication order-in-original under section 179 of the customs act, 1969, has been passed, interim order passed earlier to continue till the next date of hearing”.