KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed customs officials to take into consideration the test report furnished by the counsel for the petitioner and to process the case accordance with law on a constitutional petition filed by Shahid Mehmood seeking release order of fresh apples auctioned by customs department.
Directives were issued by a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi on Wednesday’s hearing at Sindh High Court.
During the hearing, Khalid Rajpar advocate filed power of attorney on behalf of the respondents which was taken on record. He requested for time to file comments same may be filed before the next date of hearing.
Counsel for the petitioner filed a statement along with test report wherein it has been stated that the subject consignment is fit for human consumption. At this movement, duty attorney general Asim Mansoor requested for time to call comments a representative from the plant protection department, therefore, court adjourned the matter for June 26, 2018.
Whoever, petitioner Shahid Mehmood says that concerned department issued a test report which reflects that his consignments of fresh apple is fit for human consumption and test report already submitted in customs department.
However, counsel for the customs department Khalid Rajpur misleads the court and ignoring the fact, he claims that due to criminal negligence, his fresh apple’s consignment on risk and if consignments would not be released on time than he would face losses of millions of rupees, he further says that he is considering to file contempt application against concerned customs officials.
Earlier, counsel for the petitioner stated that petitioner is the auction purchaser of fresh apples auctioned by the customs authority and the aggrieved and seriously prejudiced by the illegal and mala fide actions of the Deputy Director Quarantine (Operation) for Plant Protection Advisor who notwithstanding the letter dated March 28, 2018 by the customs arbitrary with-held the NOC required for release of perishable goods fresh apples auctioned by the customs authority after obtaining lab report conforming that the goods are fit for human consumption.
Citing Secretary Ministry of National Food Security & Research, DG Department of Plant Protection, Deputy Director Quarantine (Operation) for Plant Protection Advisor & DG Department of Plant Protection, Collector of Customs Appraisement East as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court may declare that act of the respondents is illegal, mala fide and arbitrary.
He also pleaded the court to direct them to release of its goods seized by customs department immediately and restrain them from taking any coercive action against the petitioner till final order in this petition.