LAHORE: A Lahore High Court two-judge bench on Wednesday issued notice on a petition by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) challenging summoning video record of the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) and the Call Data Record (CDR) of investigating officer by the duty judge in a drug case against former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan.

The ANF in its petition contended that a duty judge was supposed to decide matters of urgent nature only in a case before him. However, it said, the duty judge of a special court for Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) hearing the case of Rana Sana allowed two applications of defence and summoned record from the PSCA and a mobile phone company.

It said the duty judge also allowed the video and call data to be made part of the case record.

The petition said the duty judge passed the impugned order before the indictment of the accused, which opened Pandora’s box of legal problems. It argued that the applications of the defence allowed by the duty judge were not of urgent nature.

The petition asked the court to set aside the impugned order passed by the duty judge for being illegal.

The bench headed by Justice Alia Neelum issued notice to the respondent for Nov 19.

The ANF had arrested Rana Sana on July 1 and claimed to have recovered 15kg heroin from his possession. The FIR was lodged 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.

The trial court dismissed two bail petitions of Rana Sana filed on different grounds.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2019