The Lahore High Court has barred custom officials in Lahore to evaluate customs duty on imported goods that was being imposed by them allegedly in violation of the evaluation criteria determined by the federal government.
The court observed that the matter was not under the jurisdiction of the customs officials in Lahore and only the federal government was authorized to determine the criteria for evaluation of the duty. The court expressed serious concerns over misuse of authority by the customs collector and other officials of the department concerned.
These directives were issued in an appeal filed by Zain Enterprises where the petitioners had submitted through their counsel Advocate Sheraz Zaka that they were paying thrice the customs duty they were required to pay on imported goods under the law.
The counsel for the petitioners argued that the customs collector was evaluating duty on the basis of the master airway bill (a transport document issued by the air cargo carrier). He said that this was a violation of rules that allowed evaluation only to be on the basis of a house airway bill (a transport document which is issued by a freight forwarder).