ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan has rejected a representation filed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and directed the tax department to compensate the importer at market value of lawfully imported digital receivers later destroyed by declaring them smuggled goods.
The lawfully imported digital receivers were destroyed as allegedly considered as smuggled, should be compensated at market value, according to the order of the President of Pakistan.
DrArifAlvi rejected a representation filed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) against an order made by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) in a complaint against the Collector, Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) (Enforcement and Compliance), Peshawar, for failing to release seized goods under the Order-in-Remand passed by the Collector (Adjudication), Islamabad.
Brief facts of the case are that the joint Team of MCC,(Enforcement and Compliance) Peshawar, the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (Customs), FIA and PEMRA seized foreign origin digital receivers from the shop of the complainant. The complainant filed an appeal before Customs Appellate Tribunal, (CAT) Peshawar which vide Order –in Appeal remanded the case back to the Collector, (Adjudication),Islamabad.
The Collector (Adjudication) ordered unconditional release of those digital receivers, which were lawfully imported on the basis of GDs provided by the complainant, while ordered confiscation of those receivers, which could not be verified.
The complainant approached the FTO for the release of seized goods and he also prayed that if the goods were not available/illegally destroyed, compensation equal to the market value of the seized goods should be paid to him.
The FTO had ordered the apex revenue body to pay compensation to the complainant equal to the market price of the receivers of the destroyed goods with valid No Objection Certificates (NOCs) that were imported lawfully into the country.
The brief facts of the case are that the joint team of MCC (Enforcement & Compliance), Peshawar, the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (Customs), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), had seized imported digital receivers from the shop of the complainant.
The complainant had filed an appeal to the Customs Appellate Tribunal (CAT), Peshawar, which, vide Order–in Appeal, remanded the case back to the Collector (Adjudication), Islamabad.
The latter ordered the unconditional release of the digital receivers that had been lawfully imported based on the Goods Declarations (GDs) provided by the complainant, but the ordered confiscation of the receivers could not be verified.
The complainant had approached the FTO for the release of the seized goods and requested that if the goods were unavailable or illegally destroyed, an amount equal to the market value of the seized goods be paid as compensation.
The FTO observed that the department had acted hastily and destroyed the seized goods without waiting for the outcome of the remand proceedings. Also, no evidence had been furnished to establish that the goods had not been matched with the GDs/NOC provided by the complainant.
The seized goods were not perishable items, and they had not become unfit for human consumption, which had allowed for the invocation of Section 169 (4) of the Customs Act as their disposal before the finalisation of adjudication proceedings was not justified.
The FTO’s order further stated that the goods had been destroyed unlawfully, which is why the complainant is entitled to compensation equal to the market price in respect of the lawfully imported receivers with valid NOCs.
It also directed the FBR to investigate the irregularities committed by the senior officials in this regard.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022