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Pakistan

Web Desk
December 26, 2019

LHC releases detailed judgement of bail granted to Rana Sanaullah

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Dec 26, 2019
Rana Sanaullah. Photo: File

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued its detailed verdict on the bail granted to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah in a drug trafficking case.

The nine-page judgment was authored by LHC’s Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad.

The court questioned in its judgement why, even though the former provincial minister was accused of operating a narcotics trafficking network, the Anti Narcotics Force never sought his physical remand to investigate that allegation.

The court further questioned why formal documentary proceedings of the seizure of narcotics were not conducted at the time of arrest, and why a sample of only 20 grams of the heroin recovered was sent for testing when the seized quantity was a much higher 15 kilogrammes.

The judgement also gave some weight to the 'political victimsation' argument made by the petitioner.

“In the context of the petitioner being a vocal political leader of [the main] opposition party, this aspect of the case could not be ignored as political victimization in our country is an open secret,” the order stated.

The court reasoned that from the facts of the case, there needed to be further investigation of the charges against Sanaullah. However, since "the co-accused in the case were granted bail by a trial court, and their bail was not challenged by the prosecution in the high court", it would be unfair to not allow Sanaullah the same recourse.

It subsequently approved the former Punjab law minister’s bail against two surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

It is expected that the former Punjab law minister will be released today after he submits the bonds to the court.

Will present evidence at the correct time: ANF

Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Chief Prosecutor Raja Inam on Wednesday said that evidence against Sanaullah will be brought forth at "the right time".

Addressing a press conference, Inam said the evidence against the former Punjab law minister had been submitted in court.

Dispelling the notion that the ANF was trying to delay proceedings of the case, Inam said a case had been registered against Sanaullah on July 1, 2019, and that the ANF had produced a challan in the court on July 23 without any delay.

The prosecutor said testimonies from the witnesses, evidence, and the chemical examiner's report had been provided to the court. "Now, it is up to the suspect to tell his side of the story," he said.

"We will disclose evidence against Sanaullah at the right time."