islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) yesterday stayed imposition of fine on model girl Ayyan Ali by collector (adjudication) customs in currency smuggling case. A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah issued stay orders on a petition of Ayyan Ali who has challenged over US $500,000 fine on her.

The petitioner moved the court through her counsel Sardar Lateef Khosa Advocate and adopted before the bench that the decision was announced without providing an opportunity of hearing to her. She cited collector (adjudication) Collectorate of Customs Islamabad, superintendent investigation and prosecutor Model Custom Collectorate Islamabad, assistant collector investigation and prosecution, appellate tribunal customs sales tax and federal excise, and state as respondents. The IHC bench also issued notices to the respondents and directed them to submit their reply by May 30.

It was March 3 when collector (adjudication) stated in his order, “In view of the reasons explained in the preceding paras, I am led to conclude that the accused nominated in the show cause notice are undeniably involved in the smuggling of foreign currency from Pakistan to abroad. The charges of foreign currency and violation of the provisions section 2(s) & 16 of customs act 1969 read with section 3(1) of import and export control act 1950 and section 8 of the foreign exchange regulation act, 1947 stand established. I therefore order, for outright confiscation of seized foreign currency notes valuing US$506800 along with suit case, colour brown, and 9 number of used clothes.”

In terms of section 156(1), 8, 70, 157, of the customs act 1969 read with section 3(3) of the import and export control act and also imposed a penalty of one time of the value equivalent to the confiscated currency on lady Ms Ayyan.”

In her petition, the model girl said that she was shocked to know through electronic and print media about the impugned ex parte order passed by the collector (adjudication) without hearing from herself. 

She further said that the business of supermodel is spread in many countries and she was under contractual obligations to travel to Dubai but her name was placed on the exit control list (ECL). It said that after removal of her name from the no fly list when she was about to travel abroad, her name was again placed on the ECL.

The petitioner argued that she had the money from sale of a plot and she was intended to hand this over to her brother while she was unlawfully arrested and a false case was registered against her by the custom authorities with mala fide intentions.

Ayyan contended that she was not taking the money out of the country; rather she was supposed to hand it over to her brother. She added that the custom collector imposed fine on her after ex parte proceedings while the matter related to the currency smuggling is pending before the courts. Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to set aside the order imposing fine on her.