KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) called comments from customs officials and deputy attorney general directing them to make ensure to filing their comments on a constitutional petition filed by M/s National Enterprises against notice for recovery of Rs17.294 million which is outstanding in respect of consignments of surgical equipment (shunts, perforators/ external drainage monitoring system) imported and cleared by the petitioner during the last three years.
On August 9, two-member bench heard the matter.
During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner stated that during last three year, the petitioner imported 7 consignments of under-reference surgical equipment from M/s Wellong Instruments Ltd Taiwan, all the consignments were cleared through customs Air Freight Unit, JIAP after proper verification of description, quantity, brand and origin of the goods and assessment thereof by the concerned processing staff on applicable transactional/ assessed values in terms of the section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969.
He said that however, customs officials called petitioner in their office and informed that an amount of Rs17.294 million is outstanding against him in respect of consignments of surgical equipment (shunts, perforators/ external drainage monitoring system) imported and cleared by the petitioner during the last three years.
He submitted that petitioner was further informed that the purported recovery is on account of clearance of under-reference surgical equipment of Taiwan origin on lower import values as compared to the import values of like goods of USA, Japan and European origin and that a complaint has been received by the customs department in this regard, respondents handed over an unsigned typed statement containing three levels showing differential duties and taxes amounting to Rs17. 294 million.
He further argued that consignments were cleared after fulfillment of all the legal requirement and payment of duties and taxes in accordance with law, therefore, respondents have no powers to determine the customs value of any imported goods in terms of section 25D of the Customs Act, 1969 which power solely vest with the directorate general of customs valuation as per aforesaid mandatory provisions of law.
Citing chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Collector of Customs JIAP, Karachi and additional collector of Customs JIAP, Karachi as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to declare that act of the respondents is illegal and arbitrary.