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Customs I&I field staff can’t seize legally imported goods: Advocate Sana Gulzar

Customs I&I field staff can’t seize legally imported goods: Advocate Sana Gulzar

PESHAWAR: The imported goods neither fall in clause (a) or (b) of Section 2(s) of the Customs Act, 1969 nor are mentioned in the notification issued under Section 2(s) clause (a); and as such those cannot be put under the category of smuggling or smuggled goods, Advocate Sana Gulzar said on Thursday.

Talk to Customs Today, she said that the customs staff deputed at different check posts was in the habit of asking for physical possession of goods and vehicles which was against the law. “The Customs Act of 1969 does not permit the customs official to physically check the consignments and there is a need to take stern action against them,” she added.

The seizure of such goods will be illegal and the action based on illegal seizure of the goods is also illegal, said the advocate of Peshawar High Court, adding that the Customs Department will have to follow rules.

The honorable courts issued several notices to the customs authorities which were thus quashed. (PLD 1975 Kar. 482 + PLD 1978 Kar. 774 + PLD 1979 Kar. 68 + PLD 1981 Quetta 1 + 1980 P Cr. L. J. 186).

Advocate Sana Gulzar added that the goods transported within the country could not be seized if those were cleared after payment of customs duty and other taxes.

She said that the officials could not check the consignments during their transportation to other parts of the country. She added that the officials could only seize smuggled goods under the Customs Act, 1969 as contained in Section 156(1) clauses (9) or (90) (1980 SCMR 114).

The other sections of the customs act, which are violated by the officials of the Investigation and Intelligence at different check posts, include sections 25 (a) and 32 (a) (b).

The transport union president has also complained about the demand of bribery at Landi Kotal check post by Customs I&I teams. The Customs staff posted at Kharlachi check posts also gets bribe from vehicles and strict measures are required to stop this menace, she said.