LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has dismissed an application of a woman, convicted in a narcotics case, to summon the call detail record (CDR) of the prosecution witnesses as additional evidence at the stage of the appeal.
“At this appellate stage, Call Data Record (sic) is not conclusive piece of evidence for the purpose of determining and establishing the identity and presence of any witness or person at some exact locale/position/place,” says a verdict issued by a full bench headed by Justice Aalia Neelum.
It notes that an application filed by the applicant for summoning representative of a telecom company for verification of photocopy of the CDR was dismissed by the trial court and the said order was not challenged and it attained finality.
The bench observes that only a piece of evidence can be brought on record through additional evidence at appellate stage, which has been considered as necessary for decision of the case and is having concrete evidentiary worth beyond shadow of doubt, however, in the instant appeal, the CDR does not fulfill said condition/criteria.
It states that during the trial, the applicant did not ask for production or brought any voice record transcript/recording of any phone call as well as forensic analysis report of the same on record as evidence.
The bench says it is well settled that if any piece of evidence was in the knowledge/notice to the party but neither produced nor asked to be produced during trial then the same cannot be allowed to come on record at appellate stage.
“We are not commenting further on the subject as appreciation of evidence is yet to be made/done at the time of final hearing of the appeal,” the judges observe in the verdict.
The judges conclude that at this appellate stage, bringing of the CDR through additional evidence on record is neither necessary for just decision of the case nor would serve any useful purpose for the applicant in any manner whatsoever.
Applicant Saima Noreen was convicted under Section 9 (c) of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 by a Judge Special Court CNSA, Sargodha in 2021.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023
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