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SHC seeks comments on petition filed by M/s Middle East Construction Company

SHC seeks comments on petition filed by M/s Middle East Construction Company

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) restrained customs department from taking any action against the petitioner till further order on a constitutional petition filed by M/s Middle East Construction Company seeking imported four unit old and used Hino Prime Mover trucks detained by customs department due to disputed valuation.

On May 3, 2019, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi was hearing the matter. During the hearing, court also directing customs department to make sure filing their para-wise comments on next date of hearing.

Counsel for the petitioner stated that petitioner has imported four units old and used Hino Prime Mover trucks and declared value of $5,000 each and petitioner determined his liability of payment of applicable duties and taxes in terms of section 70 (1) of the Customs Act, 1969 accordance with law in the light of current import policy order.

He further submitted that four imported units were examined and inspected by the authorized persons and issued certificate accordingly in the light of current import policy order and pre shipment is sole authority for examination of imported vehicles and in present case pre shipment examination was obtained by the petitioner accordance with law and said pre shipment which was verified by the respondents from concerned quarters.

He argued that respondent’s staff miserably failed to clear vehicles of the petitioner and using delaying tactics and due to said delay port charges and container charges are increasing day by day whereas duty and taxes were paid on Feb 20.

Counsel said that petitioner consignment was examined by the respondents staff and said examination was carried out accordingly and stated vehicles were not imported accordingly and stated petitioner imported trucks instead of prime movers as chassis were cut from the rare and freshly painted fish plates were artificially fixed on the chassis to give impression of being a prime mover instead of the truck 10 wheelers.

Counsel further argued that distance between fish plate and cabin in the prime mover is normally 7 feet but in these trucks it is 15 feet approximately, in fact importer has tried to import trucks in the garb of prime movers to bypass import policy order but respondent’s staff used delaying tactics and enhanced value of the vehicles arbitrar.

Citing secretary Revenue Division and Collector of Customs Appraisement West as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court may directed the respondents to release his consignment and restrain them from taking any coercive action till final order in this case.