KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the customs department and deputy attorney general on a constitutional petition filed by Muhammad Saleem, proprietor of Eastern Construction Co against detention of consignment comprising German-origin Asphalt Paver Machine imported from Vietnam on the basis of allegedly suspicious documents.

On September 11, 2019, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi also directed them to make sure filing their para wise comments on next date of hearing.

During the hearing, counsel for the petitioner stated in his constitutional petition that petitioner imported a German-origin Asphalt Paver Machine from Vietnam through a Singapore-based supplier, that upon receipt of import documents (invoice/ packing list and bill of lading) as well as the PSI Certificate, the latter was submitted to the assessment group for prior verification and upon landing of the subject machine the same was declared dated July 12, 2019, which was duly examined and found to be in line with the petitioner's declaration and assessed, accordingly, in line with the assessment criteria.

He further submitted that Singapore-based supplier of the subject machine vide email dated 29/07/2019 addressed to the petitioner's clearing agent, forwarded an email from the PSIC, wherein it was stated that the subject PSI Certificate, as issued by the Vietnam-based PSIC, was genuine.

Counsel argued that on that certificate, petitioner approached customs officials for removal of the subject machine from port area to the customs bonded warehouse so as to prevent demurrage and detention charges from further accruing, however, out the blue the petitioner received the show cause notice dated August 27, 2019 pertaining to allegation as to deliberate uploading of a fake and fabricated documents, which is outright illegal and without-jurisdiction having been issued by the officer of the adjudication collectorate is spite of the bar vide paragraph 3© of SRO 886(1)/2012 dated 18/07/2012.

Citing Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Collector of Customs Appraisement West, Assistant/ Deputy Collector (group-VI) MCC Appraisement West and others, petitioner pleaded the court may declare that show cause notice is outright illegal and without jurisdiction and restrain the respondents and their officer from taking any coercive action against the petitioner.

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