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SHC seeks comments on petition filed by clearing agents of M/s Ali & Co

SHC seeks comments on petition filed by clearing agents of M/s Ali & Co

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the customs officials and deputy attorney general on a constitutional petition filed by Muhammad Ahsan, Muhammad Idress, Muhammad Ali and Qaiser Abbas clearing agents of M/s Ali & Co who approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) against lodging first information report (FIR) No 11/2019.

On October 25, 2019, a two-member bench also directed them to file their para wise comments on next date of hearing.

During the hearing, counsel for the petitioners informed the court that suddenly, after July 2019 victimization has been started against the petitioners by some officer of customs who nominated the petitioners as co-accused mala-fidely in six criminal cases registered by them one by one which is still going on by nomination of petitioners as co-accused in the instant seventh criminal case registered by the customs officials.

He submits that admittedly neither the petitioners have been authorized by the importer M/s M.M Trading Co, Karachi in terms of section 208 (1) of the customs act, 1969 for the alleged goods home appliances and furniture has been filed under Section 79 of the Customs Act, 1969 for customs clearance under Section 80 read with 83 of the Customs Act, 1969 despite of that criminal proceeding have been initiated and FIR 11/2019 dated 12/10/2019 has been lodged wherein the petitioners have been alleged to be involved in commission of offence of mis-declaration of description, weight, quantity and value of goods stuffed in aforesaid containers.

Counsel argued that the criminal proceedings have been initiated against the petitioners without having any material which could connect the petitioners with the alleged offence, the only ground mentioned in the FIR is that being customs clearing agent goods declarations were previously filed by the petitioners on behalf of alleged importer which were checked and processed by the customs under section 80 read with 83 of the Customs Act, 1969.

Citing chairman FBR, Collector of Customs Appraisement West, Appraising Officer Abdul Razzak, Appraisement West as respondents, petitioners pleaded the court to declare that quash the criminal proceedings initiated pursuant to be FIR No 11/2019 dated 12/10/2019 to the extent of the petitioners being illegal, without lawful authority.