KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday set aside life imprisonment handed down by a trial court to a convict in a drug peddling case.

A division bench of SHC observed that two main witnesses had contradicted each other on material aspects and there were also a number of legal infirmities/lacunae which had created serious doubt in the prosecution case.

An additional district sessions/model criminal trial court of Malir had sentenced Mohammad Shafi to life in prison in August last year for transporting around 31 kilograms of hashish in his rickshaw along Superhighway in December 2020.

The convict through his counsel challenged the conviction before the SHC and after hearing both sides and examining the record and proceedings, the two-judge bench comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi allowed the appeal and overturned the order of the trial court.

The bench in its judgement noted that the contradictions in the statements of two police officers and main prosecution witnesses of the case, had clearly indicated that they were not the true eyewitnesses of the incident and no such incident of arrest of accused and recovery of hashish from the possession of the appellant had occurred as had been alleged by the prosecution.

It further said that mere heinousness of the charge and recovery of a huge quantity of the alleged contraband was no ground to convict the accused as the prosecution was under the burden of responsibility to drive home the charges.

The case property was sent to the chemical analyser by Inspector Manzoor Ali through a letter, which has no date, after collecting the same from police station while neither any Malkhana entry had been produced, nor had the head of Malkhana been examined in terms of safe custody of case property, it added.

The judgment further said: “In other words the prosecution has not proved the safe transmission of the property to the chemical examiner which creates serious doubt in its case”.

It observed that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against the appellant beyond a reasonable doubt and thus, the appeal was allowed and the appellant was acquitted from the charges by extending him the benefit of the doubt.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...