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Supreme Court hears case related to Indian sugar destined for Afghanistan

Supreme Court hears case related to Indian sugar destined for Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan heard case related to Indian sugar destined for Afghanistan under Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

On January 29, 2019, a three member bench comprising of Justice Umar Atta Bandial, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Mian Khel heard the Indian sugar case which relates to 262 containers of Indian White crestlines sugar in transit to Afghanistan through the seaport of Karachi.

Directorate-General of Transit Trade FBR has not allowed transit on the grounds that sugar was unfit for human consumption and that the said fact was confirmed by Customs House laboratory, PCSIR, HES and SGS laboratory on account of edibility of the sugar.

Federal Board of Revenue Member Legal, Dr. Arslan Subuctageen, Director-General Transit Trade FBR, Dr Sarfraz Ahmad Warriach, and Chief Legal FBR, Javed Chaudhary along with Raja Iqbal, legal counsel of FBR were also present during the hearing proceedings.

Legal counsel for the Afghan importer was also present. After in depth hearing of the case, the bench allowed leave to appeal to the department. The court observed that Directorate-General Transit has the responsibility to examine and assess the transit goods as to the correctness of declaration, made by the Afghan importers for transit of their imported goods, under both provisions of Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement 2010 as well as under domestic law notified vide Customs Rules 2001.

The Supreme Court further suspended contempt proceedings against Director-General Transit Trade Dr. Sarfraz Ahmad Warriach and other officers of the Directorate General initiated by Afghan importer to submit before the Court in next hearing detailed justification as to why sugar should be allowed to transit to Afghanistan while Directorate General of Trade as proceeded as per provision of APTTA 2010 and Customs Rules 2001 and that sugar is not fit for human consumption.