LAHORE: A judicial magistrate on Tuesday directed the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to submit challan (report of investigating officer) in a narcotics case against PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah Khan.
Earlier, Rana Sana and five other suspects were brought to the district courts from jail under strict security arrangements. All adjacent roads were blocked by erecting containers and barbed wires. Scores of PML-N worker still managed to reach the district courts.
Although police did not allow the workers to enter the courtroom, the lawyers affiliated to the party managed to enter it and raised pro-party slogans even after the magistrate resumed proceedings.
Advocate Farhad Ali Shah represented the former provincial law minister and argued that the ANF failed to submit challan despite a clear direction issued by court on the last hearing. He complained that the ANF had also seized his client’s personal belongings including medicines and medical reports.
When asked about the case file, a jail official told the magistrate that his job was to produce the suspect before court.
The magistrate, Ahmad Waqas, summoned the ANF officials immediately as no was present from the prosecution side.
After about two hours, an ANF prosecutor reached court and stated that the record of the case was with a special investigation team and it would be furnished soon.
Answering a court’s query, Rana Sana said an investigation team visited him in jail the other day. He claimed neither he had been provided with details of the case nor had his formal statement been recorded.
The magistrate extended the judicial remand of the PML-N leader and other suspects till July 29 and directed the ANF to submit challan under section 173 of CrPC without further delay. The magistrate said the defence counsel could move an application if the prosecution failed to submit the challan.
Earlier, during court break, the PML-N leader had an opportunity to have brief telephonic conversation with party’s president Shahbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. He said he would try his level best to fight oppression.
Responding to media queries, he said he believed in challenging the oppression instead of complaining about it. He said he stood by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and the party. “It’s tyranny that a ruler who is an addict, is implicating political rivals in false cases and judges are being blackmailed by agencies,” he said.
He said the confession of the accountability court’s judge in the leaked video had made the whole trial of Nawaz Sharif controversial.
Lashing out at the policies of Prime Minster Imran Khan, he said no country could progress under the prevailing situation and people would not pay taxes. “The government has brought the country on the verge of anarchy,” he added.
He said police still carried the stigma of lodging a fake case of “buffalo theft” against politicians at the behest of the rulers.
The ANF had arrested Rana Sana on his way to Lahore from his native city Faisalabad near Ravi Toll Plaza and recovered 15kg heroin from his vehicle. A special team which acted on a tip-off also arrested five others including the driver and security guards of the PML-N leader.
The ANF lodged FIR under section 9 (C) of Control of Narcotic Substances Act 1997, which carries death penalty or life imprisonment or a jail term that may extend to 14 years along with a fine up to Rs1 million.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2019