ANF seeks SC nod to re-arrest Rana Sanaullah

Updated January 16, 2020

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The LHC had on Dec 23, 2019 ordered the release of Rana Sanaullah against two surety bonds of Rs1 million each in the drug trafficking case. — DawnNewsTv/File
The LHC had on Dec 23, 2019 ordered the release of Rana Sanaullah against two surety bonds of Rs1 million each in the drug trafficking case. — DawnNewsTv/File

ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Wednesday sought permission from the Supreme Court to take into custody PML-N leader and former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah through a petition challenging the grant of bail to him by the Lahore High Court.

The LHC had on Dec 23, 2019 ordered the release of Rana Sanaullah against two surety bonds of Rs1 million each in the drug trafficking case.

In its appeal moved through Advocate Raja Ameen Minhas, the ANF requested the Supreme Court to recall the high court verdict and grant it permission to re-arrest the PML-N leader.

Mr Sanaullah was arres­ted by the ANF from a picket near Ravi tool plaza on Lahore Motorway in July last year for allegedly possessing 15 kilograms of heroin.

The PML-N had filed his first post-arrest bail petition in a special court on Aug 8, which was dismissed on Sept 20, 2019.

Appeal cites flaws in the judgement of Lahore High Court

The ANF appeal argued that the dismissal order was assailed in the post-arrest bail petition before the high court on Oct 2, 2019, which was subsequently withdrawn the following day because the accused wanted to file the bail petition in the trial court on the fresh grounds. Accordingly, a second bail petition was filed in the trial court on Nov 5, 2019, which was dismissed on Nov 9 with reasons that no fresh ground was available with the accused, the petition said.

The appeal regretted that the high court, while granting the bail to Mr Sanaullah, ignored the fact that no fresh ground had been made out or shown by the accused, adding that the CCTV footage on the basis of which the second bail petition had been filed was available even with the accused at the time of first bail petition which the trial court had rightly dismissed.

The high court, while granting the bail, wrongly concluded that sending 20 grammes of heroin as representative sample out of the total quantity of 15kg for chemical examination made the case of the accused as one of further inquiry, the petition contended.

“The high court totally ignored the fact that 15kg of heroin was in one packet/slab and that in the light of the Supreme Court guidelines provided in the 2012 Ameer Zeb case, only one representative sample was required to be sent for the chemical examination which was accordingly sent by the prosecution. The high court also observed wrongly that no recovery memo of the narcotics was prepared at the place of recovery whereas in fact recovery memo was prepared on the spot by the prosecution which was available on record,” the petition argued.

Moreover, it said, the high court in its order had stated that the physical remand of the accused was not sought by the investigating agency in order to probe him on charges of supervising a drug network when it was evident that direct recovery of narcotics was made from the accused on his pointation.

Therefore, the petition argued, no further physical remand of the accused was required; moreover, it was also worthy to note here that the special investigation team (SIT) was constituted with the permission of the court to investigate the matter and the accused was investigated accordingly. But the high court failed to appreciate the facts and evidence available on record and, therefore, the impugned order is liable to be recalled, the petition contended.

Similarly, it said, the high court also failed to consider the fact that the challan submitted on July 23 was handed over to the accused on Aug 9, 2019, and the supplementary challan submitted on Sept 28 was also delivered to him.

Therefore, all relevant record was available with the accused even at the time of filing of the first bail petition and thus no fresh ground was available with the accused for filing the second bail petition.

The bail was granted by the high court while considering the facts which were already discussed and agitated in the earlier bail petition and, therefore, the grant of bail was liable to be struck down.

The high court judge in chambers also erred while considering political victimisation as a ground in the narcotics case, the petition contended, adding that the court had also ignored the fact that the accused was a influential person and had been using his influence despite the fact that he was behind bars. When enlarge on bail, the accused can obstruct the trial proceedings and temper with the prosecution evidence, the petition feared.

“If the impugned high court order is not set aside, it will cause grave miscarriage of justice and illegality,” the petition argued.

The high court had failed to consider the fact that there was no further inquiry required to prove the guilt of the accused when the huge quantity of drug/heroin was recovered from him.

Moreover, the observation made by the high court would likely to prejudice the case of the prosecution in the trial, the petition contended.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020