Pakistan

LAHORE – A special court on Wednesday, adjourning the hearing of a narcotics case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Rana Sanaullah till October 18, issued notices to the parties on an application for indictment of the accused.

The court also summoned complainant of the case on the next date of hearing. Duty Judge Khalid Bashir conducted the case proceedings, wherein, Rana Sanaullah was produced on expiry of his judicial remand.

The defence counsel argued that their apprehensions had ended after preservation of the CCTV footage of the arrest of his client. He submitted that Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) claims proved false in the light of the footage.

However, the ANF counsel submitted an application for indicting the accused, while assailing the proceedings. He questioned that under which law, the proceedings were being held. He stated that if the duty judge could hold the trial, then the accused could also be indicted in the matter.

He further submitted that the case was being hijacked as these people claim that they were being victimised after going out of the court. The prosecutor insisted that the accused should be indicted before any further proceeding in the case.

At this stage, an exchange of hot words took place between ANF prosecutor and Rana’s counsel.

Later, Rana’s counsel submitted that they visited Punjab Safe Cities Authority and witnessed the CCTV footage but the accused could not be traced in the footage.

To which, the prosecutor argued that the law was not being followed in the matter. He asked the court to hold trial after indicting the accused.

Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings till October 18 and issued notices to the parties on application for indictment of the accused.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ANF had already filed challan in the Special Court for the Control of Narcotic Substances against Rana Sanaullah and others. It was alleged that the ANF recovered heroin and other drugs from Rana Sanaullah’s vehicle.

Besides Rana Sanaullah, other suspects including Usman Ahmad, Sibtain Haider, Muhammad Akram, Umar Farooq and Amir Rustam were also nominated in the case. However, the court had granted post-arrest bail to the co-accused in the case.

On July 1, ANF officials arrested Rana Sanaullah, who served as the Punjab law minister during the former PML-N government, from the Islamabad-Lahore motorway near Sukheki, while he was travelling from Faisalabad to Lahore.

The ANF had registered an FIR against the PNL-N leader under 9-C, 15 and 17 of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act. It was alleged that the ANF recovered 15 kilogram heroin and other drugs from Rana Sanaullah’s car, whereas, the operation was conducted on a tip-off.