Rana Sana’s counsel says video record belies prosecution claims

Updated October 10, 2019

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The counsel for former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Wednesday claimed before a Special Court for Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) that the video record retrieved from the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) destroyed the whole story of prosecution narrated in the FIR. — DawnNewsTV/File
The counsel for former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Wednesday claimed before a Special Court for Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) that the video record retrieved from the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) destroyed the whole story of prosecution narrated in the FIR. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The counsel for former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Wednesday claimed before a Special Court for Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) that the video record retrieved from the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) destroyed the whole story of prosecution narrated in the FIR.

Rana Sana was present in court when an official of the authority submitted a compact disc containing the video record of his vehicle.

Senior defence counsel Azam Nazir Tarar told the court that their anxiety stood vanished as the video record was now preserved with the PSCA.

Referring to the facts of the record, he said the video rejected the claim of the prosecution about alleged recovery of heroin from the suspect and weighing it on the spot and scuffle between the private guards of the suspect and the ANF personnel before the arrest.

He said as per the FIR, the vehicle of Rana Sana was stopped by the personnel at Ravi Toll Plaza at 3:25pm. Whereas, he said, the record extracted from the cameras of the PSCA showed the vehicle passing through Doctor’s Hospital on Canal Road, over 14.5km away from the place of arrest, at 3:35pm.

Advocate Tarar claimed that the whole episode narrated by the prosecution in the FIR was not humanly possible to be happened within 10 minutes only. He said it was no more a case of indictment but acquittal. Even otherwise, he said, a duty judge could not frame charges in a case.

However, ANF prosecutor Kashif Javed said if a duty judge could hold trial proceedings, there was no bar to framing charges on suspects. He said the proceedings were being hijacked by the defence and the prosecution was being declared false on the basis of two or three minute’s distance.

The defence counsel quickly responded and said the case was not of a trivial nature but involved an elected representative of the people.

The prosecutor also questioned the PSCA’s policy to keep the video record relating to the suspect protected beyond its conventional limit of 30 days. He asked the court to summon the official concerned of the authority for the testimony.

The defence counsel, however, challenged the prosecutor’s claim and said the 30-day time limit was for watching a video live while the authority preserved its record for good.

Duty Judge Khalid Bashir adjourned further hearing till Oct 18 and issued notice to the defence on the prosecution’s application for the indictment. He also issued notice to the prosecution on an application of the defence for the retrieval of CDR (call detail record) of both Rana Sanaullah and the investigating officer.

The ANF had arrested the PML-N leader on July 1 when he was on his way to Lahore from Faisalabad at Ravi Toll Plaza on the motorway. The force claimed to have recovered 15kg heroin from his vehicle and the FIR was lodged under section 9 (C) of the 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.

Marriyum Aurangzeb: The PML-N says the Safe Cities video has vindicated its leader Rana Sanaullah and is a serious blow to the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for its lies.

PMLN information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb told reporters here on Wednesday that God Almighty had vindicated Rana Sanaullah and exposed the ‘liars’. “After vivid proof there is no justification to keep Sanaullah in jail as it will be a travesty of justice,” she said.

Flanked by Ataullah Tarrar and Azma Bukhari, Ms Auranzeb said truth eventually prevailed, sooner than liars expected. The ANF couldn’t present any evidence to the court but the video from Safe Cities cameras was available for the entire nation to see.

“The video showing Rana Sanaullah’s car leaving the toll plaza and traveling all the way to Cantonment has proven that the FIR filed by ANF and the allegations by PTI regime were a pile of shameful lies. PML-N will release this video for the entire country to see,” she said. The former federal information minister said the detailed footage of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority was presented to the court as part of the case record. “Contents of this video have falsified the FIR by ANF and have upheld every single word of Rana Sanaullah’s stance.”

She said Sanaullah had resisted his arrest. She said the video proved that Sanaullah’s stance of being kidnapped and later framed was 100 per cent true.“It was the first time that a serving Major Azizullah became the complainant of the case while being the investigator of the same case. This is the standard of justice in the country under this imposed PTI regime”.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2019