Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah's indictment in a drugs case was delayed on Saturday as he failed to appear before a special court for the control of narcotic substances in Lahore, owing to the ongoing budget session in Islamabad. The court has now summoned him on July 23.

Sanaullah was arrested in the case in July 2019 under the previous government by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) which claimed to have recovered 15kg of heroin from his vehicle.

At the last hearing, the court had stated that charges against the interior minister would be framed on June 25 (today).

However, Sanauallah did not attend the hearing today, with his lawyers stating that the interior minister was busy with the annual budget session in the National Assembly.

The court, therefore, gave a day's exemption to Sanaullah from attending the hearing and summoned him at the next one on July 23.

Other suspects in the case were present at today's hearing.

Charges against Sanaullah

Sanaullah was arrested on July 1, 2019 by the ANF Lahore team while he was travelling from Faisalabad to Lahore near the Ravi Toll Plaza on the motorway. He was accused of carrying 15kg of heroin in his vehicle. Five others, including the driver and security guards of the PML-N leader, were also arrested.

A first information report 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.

He was twice denied bail by the trial court but the Lahore High Court released him on December 24, 2019.

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