KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the customs department and deputy attorney general on a petition filed by M/s Perfect Craft (SMC-Pvt) Ltd against notice for encashment of security post-dated cheaque, auction of petitioner’s warehoused goods and blockage of business and imported goods in on-going economical crises due to pandemic of COVID-19.
On 9 July 2020, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Khadim Hussain also directed them to file their respective para wise comments on next date of hearing.
During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner stated that petitioner imported various consignments of steel products and filed goods declarations on different dates, which were allowed into-bonding after proper and lawful assessment of laviable duties and taxes, which are payable as per mandate of section 30 of the customs act, at the time of ex-bonding of the subject into-bonded consignments.
He further submitted that subsequently, the petitioner had filed few ex-bond GDs for partial quantities on payment of leviable duty and taxes, whereas, the balance quantities of the subject consignments are still lying under control, custody and charge of the respondents in bonded warehouse, however, due to market circumstances and on-going economical crises due to pandemic of COVID-19, the petitioner was unable to get its balance quantities of the subject bonded goods ex-bonded upon payment of duties and taxes till date.
He argued that whereas, section 98 of the customs act, 1969 provides that goods be kept in bonded warehouse for a period of six months from the date of into-bonding of the consignments, however, the same period is extendable by the respondent department upon charging of 1% penal surcharge per month from the importer.
Citing chairman FBR, collector of Customs Appraisement East, West and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to declare that the issuance of impugned notice for encashment of security post-dated cheques, auction of petitioner’s warehoused goods and blockage of business and imported goods of petitioner, meanwhile the custody of subject consignments under its control and charge is illegal, perverse, arbitrary and detrimental to the legal rights of the petitioner to get its price-paid goods custody-cleared as per law.