KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to customs department and deputy attorney general on a constitutional petition filed by Naeem Ali Muhammad Munshi, proprietor of M/s Shalimar Food Products against show cause notice issued by customs officials on allegedly importing betel nuts unfit for human consumption.
On 19.8.2019, while hearing the petition, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqil Ahmed Abbasi also directed them to make sure to file their para wise comments on next date of hearing.
During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner argued that petitioner is engaged inter alia in the processing, sale, marketing and distribution of mouth fresheners, supari and betel nuts under the brand name of Tulsi and Raily Supari respectively and proprietorship concern is a part of the well renowned and reputable Hilal Group of Companies which also includes Hilal Foods Pvt Ltd.
He submits that customs officials issued a show cause notice to the petitioner on the basis of alleged violation under Clause (9) of the Customs Act, 1969, the issuance of the impugned show cause notice is contradictory to the right of the petitioner to be dealt with in accordance with law as well as being highly oppressive and discriminatory, imposing unreasonable restrictions on the petitioner’s business which is tantamount to expropriation of business and property and violation of the fundamental right.
He further argued that in compliance of the import conditions specified in the report, the petitioner applied for an import permit for the import of one consignment of the subject item from Indonesia which was duly issued to the petitioner by Department of Plant Protection, Plant Quarantine of Plant Protection and declared that the goods are free from infestation and are fit for human consumption.
He further argued that petitioner’s consignment reached at Karachi Port and approached Department of Plant Protection for issuing certificate, however, it was revealed to the petitioner that the consignment is being placed under examination for confirmation of description and consignment was stopped without illegally.
Citing secretary commerce, chairman FBR, Director TP, Ministry of Commerce and Textile and others as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to declare the issuance of show cause notices as illegally, mala fide and unlawful and court may release his consignment immediately and suspend the operation of show cause notice.