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SHC dismisses SCRA filed by collector of customs against PIA demanding flood relief surcharges

SHC dismisses SCRA filed by collector of customs against PIA demanding flood relief surcharges

KARACHI: A two-member bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) dismissed a special customs reference application filed by the Collector of Customs challenging an impugned verdict passed by the Customs Appellate Tribunal in favor of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) against demanding of 1 percent flood relief surcharges.

On 4 June 2021, court released details judgment and observed that “learned counsel for the Applicant has read out the order and submits that the Appellate Tribunal has erred in placing reliance on a letter issued by the Deputy Collector, which according to her had no authority to enter into any settlement and exempt payment of the amount due.

She further submits that the 1% flood relief surcharge remains outstanding and was never paid under the amnesty scheme; therefore, the Respondent is liable to pay the same. She has also relied upon the recommendations of Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee (“ADRC”) dated 26.06.2007

On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondent submits that during pendency of the proceedings, the respondent had availed amnesty scheme notified vide SRO 485(I)/2007 and 463(I)/2007 both dated 09.06.2007 and admittedly paid the duty and taxes as per the said amnesty scheme within the stipulated time i.e. 30.06.2007; hence no question of payment of any further amount arises. According to him the recommendations of the ADRC had no relevance as FBR had never approved or otherwise rejected it and much before that amnesty scheme was announced and availed.

We have heard both the learned Counsel and perused the record. It appears that various show cause notice(s) (44 in number) were issued to the respondent demanding payment of duty and taxes on the re-importation of engines sent abroad for repairs.

The Applicants stance was that the value of repair had not been correctly declared at the time of re-import of engines, resulting in lesser payment of duty and taxes. On the other hand, the Respondents case was that they are willing to pay the duty and taxes on the actual cost of repairs charged to them; however, for the purposes of duty and taxes freight SCRA 150 to 193 of 2015 Page 3 of 7 amount of 20% on such cost and 1% insurance charges are no to be added in the value.

Thereafter the said show cause notice(s) were adjudicated vide a common Order in Original dated 04.11.1999. Against the said order, respondent preferred Appeal(s) before the Appellate Tribunal, which were dismissed as time barred vide order dated 27.02.2009.

Thereafter Special Customs Reference Application Nos.136 to 179 of 2009 were preferred by the respondent before this Court, which were allowed vide order dated 15.09.2011 holding that Appeals were within time and after setting aside the impugned order; the matter was remanded to the Appellate Tribunal for decision on merits. Through impugned order dated 30.10.2014, Appeal(s) of the respondent have been allowed

In view of hereinabove facts and circumstances of the case it appears that the Applicant has no case so as to seek interference in the impugned order of the Tribunal which is correct in law and facts and depicts correct legal position; hence, the Reference Applications must be dismissed. However, the proposed questions appear to be irrelevant and against the very facts available on record.