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SHC bars customs officials from taking action against importer in betel nuts seizure case

SHC bars customs officials from taking action against importer in betel nuts seizure case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has barred the customs authorities from taking any coercive action against petitioner, Khalid Ahmed, proprietor of Anees and Sons, in betel nuts seizure case. A two-member bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, was hearing the constitutional petition.

Earlier, counsel for the petitioner stated that petitioner imported betel nuts which were mostly consumed as mouth fresheners and extensive heating process was used to clear the item of all bacteria. The clean betel nuts are further processed by using various methods, he said.

The counsel argued that it imported different consignments of betel nuts from June to Sep 2017, filed goods declarations and paid duty and taxes on all the four consignments amounting to Rs 26.5 million and the same were released.

He further informed the court that officials of the customs department raided the warehouse where they found betel nuts cleared by the Collectorate concerned after paying duty and taxes. He said without examining the documents, the entire betel nuts in the warehouse were ordered to be detained and the warehouse keeper/ owner was warned not to allow any amount of betel nuts to leave the godown.

Citing Director, Intelligence & Investigation-FBR (Customs Enforcement) and Federation of Pakistan as respondents, he pleaded the court to declare the act of the respondents as illegal, mala fide and arbitrary.

He also pleaded the court to direct them to de-seize his all consignments seized by customs authorities and restrain them from taking any coercive action against it till final order in this petition.