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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Customs Intelligence against the release of a confiscated vehicle to its owner, who claimed to have paid all the taxes and duties.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, on Wednesday heard the Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) appeal and imposed Rs50,000 fine on the department for filing a frivolous petition, saying such petitions waste the court’s time.

The bench inquired from the Director General Intelligence and Investigation (Customs), who appeared before the bench in pursuance of the court order, why the department was not handing over the vehicle to the citizen when three courts had ordered to do so. “You have impounded the vehicle and it has been lying at the warehouse for the last five years, rotting there. Who will make up for the loss,” Justice Faez asked the DG Customs.

The DG replied it is a unique case.

Upon that, Justice Mazhar remarked; “What’s unique in this case while the collector has logged that the owner of the vehicle has paid all taxes and duties.”

Justice Faez observed that the citizen has spent more than the worth of the car in terms of litigation fees and time. He wondered why in the first place, the Customs Department did not secure borders to stop the arrival of non-custom paid vehicles in Pakistan, adding the people freely bring things without any check at the check-points.

During the proceeding, Justice Faez inquired what would be the price of that 1997 model car. The DG replied that the car is worth around Rs 2,000,000 to Rs 2,500,000. Justice Faez observed that the citizen has spent more than the worth of the car in terms of litigation fees and time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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