ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the District and Sessions and High Courts have no jurisdiction to release non-customs paid vehicles on 'superdari' (temporary custody).

A two-judge bench hearing appeal of Director Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) FBR Islamabad inquired from the law officer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa why the government has failed to impound more than four lakh Non-Custom Paid (NCP) vehicles plying in the province. The bench comprises Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Qazi Faez Isa. However, the top court was informed that the KP government had decided on September 10, 2014, to provisionally register the NCP vehicles of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The bench set aside the verdict of the Peshawar High Court regarding temporary custody of two NCP cars in the province.

Ahmed Nawaz Chaudhry, counsel of Fazal Ghani and Islam Bahadur, the owner of the cars, apprised the bench that Excise & Taxation Department KPK, Collector Customs, Peshawar, KPK Home Department and police officials discussed the issue of arrival of NCP vehicles to settled districts of the KP in the wake of military operation in North Waziristan.

The bench was informed that during the meeting it was decided to take preventive measures to streamline the system of NCP vehicles’ movement in specific areas with a time limit.

He said that the DG Excise & Taxations proposed that for administrative convenience, provisional registration of the NCP vehicles of IDPs may be started by a committee under the chairmanship of concerned Deputy Commissioner with Excise & Taxation Officer and DSP headquarters.

After getting approval from the competent authority provisional registration of the NCP vehicles of IDPs was initiated in District Bannu, D. I. Khan and District Lakki Marwat. KPK Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai and Deputy Attorney General Syed Nayab Hassan Gardezi told the bench that the provincial government has no power to override federal legislative list.

On May 09, 2015, a senior officer of Customs Intelligence Darban filed a case before Judicial Magistrate Daraban, District Dera Ismail Khan regarding the impounded car.

The judicial magistrate Durban, allowing the petitions of Customs Intelligence D.I.Khan, issued directives to police to officially hand over the cars in accordance with law, while the customs department was ordered to ensure the disposal of case in accordance with Custom laws/rules and regulations. Fazal Ghani, owner of the vehicle, approached the Additional District & Sessions Judge, against the verdict of the Judicial Magistrate. The ASJ allowed temporary custody of the vehicle to Ghani and others. However, Director Intelligence & Investigation (Customs), Hayatabad, Peshawar, and senior intelligence officer, in-charge FIU Custom Intelligence, D.I.Khan challenged the Sessions Judge decision before the PHC. The high court also ordered for the release of disputed vehicle and said the NCP vehicle could also ply in other districts as well. The Customs Intelligence aggrieved by the decision approached the apex court against the PHC decision.

The top court noted that when the provincial government allowed NCP vehicle to ply in three districts namely Bannu, D I Khan and Laki Marwat then the PHC has nothing to do with the intervention in the executive orders. The bench setting aside the PHC verdict said that the sessions and the high courts have no jurisdiction to release NCP vehicles on ‘superdari’.