ISLAMABAD: The Customs Appellate Tribunal continued the hearing of arguments on a petition filed by Ayyan Ali which was dismissed twice for non-prosecution after the appellant failed to take part in the tribunal’s proceedings despite issuance of multiple notices.
A division bench of the tribunal comprising Chairman, Justice (r) Manzoor Hussain and Ziauddin Wazir heard the arguments. The bench questioned the counsel, Latif Khosa, that how the bench could restore an appeal which was already dismissed twice for non-prosecution.
Earlier, while hearing the previous petitions, the bench again issued notices to Ayyan Ali and her counsel Latif Khosa. The tribunal then had imposed a fine on them in the wake of ignoring the tribunal’s notices.
Ayyan Ali had filed the petition with the Customs Appellate Tribunal for early hearings of her restored appeal, challenging an announcement about money laundering of $500,000 in March 2015.
Ayyan’s counsel argued that his client was innocent, submitting that the department had no sufficient evidence to prove that black money was being laundered. He asked the tribunal to set aside the announcement made by the customs court. The bench then dated in office the hearing.
Ayyan Ali’s counsel, Sardar Latif Khosa had paid a fine Rs 10,000 for restoration of the case. Earlier the case was dismissed for non-prosecution by the appellant.
Khosa had filed the petition at the Customs Appellate Tribunal, challenging a decision of a lower customs court regarding confiscation of $500,000 while being smuggled by Ayyan Ali, and imposition of the fine for trying to smuggle the money out of Pakistan.
Ayyan was arrested from Benazir Bhutto International Airport with $500,000 in March 2015. The Airport Security Force intercepted her and recovered the amount from her luggage. She was released on bail after four months in Adiala Jail.
The customs court maintained the departmental decision on confiscation of the money being tried to smuggle and also added a fine of $500,000 (same amount seized while being smuggled) on Ayyan.