KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has commuted the death penalty of an appellant to life imprisonment and upheld the life term of another in a drug peddling case.

A special court for control of narcotic substances had sentenced Naeem Akhtar alias Ali Haider to death and life term to co-accused Samiuddin in September last year. The Anti-Narcotic Force had recovered 100 kilograms of hashish from their vehicle and then on a lead provided by them seized over 3,200-kg hashish from a warehouse in November 2011.

The convicts, through their counsel, challenged the conviction before the SHC and after hearing both sides, a two-judge bench comprising by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi dismissed their appeals, but converted the capital punishment of Akhtar into life term.

The bench in its judgement observed that the prosecution had proved its case against both the appellants by producing reliable and trustworthy evidence in the shape of direct and documentary evidence.

“However, we feel that learned trial court has passed the sentence to the appellant Naeem Akhtar and awarded him death sentence on the basis of his previous conviction in the narcotics case which is in violation of the legal procedure provided under the law,” it added.

According to the prosecution, both the accused along with their accomplice Syed Athar Hussain, who had passed away during trial, were travelling in a car when the ANF intercepted it near Suparco Road and found 100-kg hashish during a search of the vehicle.

During questioning, they disclosed that they brought the contraband from a warehouse and the ANF raided the godown and recovered 161 sacks containing 3213 kg of hashish.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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