LAHORE: A special court for control of narcotics substance on Saturday delayed the indictment of former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and others in a drug recovery case as the defence was yet to receive readable copies of the statements of the prosecution witnesses.

As Presiding Judge Shakir Hassan resumed hearing with Khan and other suspects in attendance, defence counsel Farhad Ali Shah complained that the copies of the statements supplied by the prosecution were incomplete and that too not readable.

A prosecutor, however, insisted that the statements were readable but the defence counsel did not try to read.

At this Advocate Shah challenged the prosecutor to read the statement of a witness namely Shaukat Ali for the utility of the court.

The defence counsel complained to the court that the prosecution team of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had been paid Rs10 million for the case and it was unable to furnish readable photocopies of the statements.

The prosecutor denied the claim of the defence counsel.

However, Advocate Shah said he would quit legal profession if the prosecutor proved him wrong.

The counsel also asked the court to order unblocking of the identity card of Khan and restoration of his bank account to receive salary from the National Assembly as he had been facing acute problems even in meeting household expenses.

The judge sarcastically asked the counsel what kind of financial problems Khan had been facing if he could engage one of the highly paid lawyers for his defence.

Advocate Shah said Mr Khan was a senior member of the bar and he had not charged any fee from him.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Feb 4 and directed the prosecution to supply readable copies of the statements to the defence.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2021

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