LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued its 9-page detailed judgment of granting bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah in a drug case filed against him by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).
On Monday, Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad reserved the verdict after Sanaullah’s lawyers and prosecutors of the ANF concluded their arguments.
The ruling stated that the prosecution did not challenge in any of the courts the move to grant bail to the accomplices of Rana Sanaullah in the same case, and the trial court had rejected the petitioner’s bail while approved bails to his accomplices.
Furthermore, the prosecution had not approached the LHC for cancellation of the bails granted to Sanaullah’s accomplices.
Moreover, the ANF had not obtained the petitioner’s physical remand from the trial court after arresting him.
On the other hand, Sanaullah’s lawyers, seeking a copy of the written decision, have filed an application in the LHC’s office.
The application pleaded with the court that the applicants should be provided with certified copies of the written decision today. Sanaullah is likely to be released today after surety bonds are submitted to an anti-narcotics court in Lahore.
Rana Sanaullah’s bail
On Tuesday, the LHC granted bail to former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah in a narcotics case lodged after Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) recovered 15kg heroin from his vehicle. The court also ordered Sanaullah to submit two surety bonds of Rs1 million each.
On Monday, Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmed heard the arguments on a post-arrest bail petition filed by advocate Zahid Hussain Bukhari, Ahsan Bhawan and Azam Nazir Tarrar on Sanaullah’s behalf, and Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Prosecutor Muhammad Irfan Malik and reserved the judgment.
Earlier, in his bail plea, Sanaullah stated that he was arrested in a false case of drugs smuggling as he used to criticise the government. He argued that he was booked for smuggling of 21 kilograms of heroin, according to an FIR lodged against him, whereas later the actual weight of the captured narcotics was declared 15 kilograms.
On Oct. 2, the PML-N leader had filed a bail petition in the LHC. The petition was, however, withdrawn the next day, to file the same at a later stage. Earlier this month, Sanullah once again approached the LHC for post-arrest bail.
A special court for Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) had on September 20 also dismissed a bail petition by Sanaullah while releasing five co-suspects. On November 9, a CNS dismissed another bail petition of Sanaullah’s.
On Dec. 21, Anti-Narcotics Court Judge Shakir Hussain extended the judicial remand of PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah till Jan. 4 in the same case.
The court also issued notices to the investigation officer seeking a response on the application of Rana Sanaullah for provision of a video of the ministers.
On July 1, Sanaullah was arrested by the ANF after the discovery of a large stash of contraband in his vehicle from near the Sukheke area in Punjab. The next day, he was sent to jail on judicial remand by a local magistrate.
Sanaullah, who is also a member of the National Assembly (MNA) and president of the PML-N’s Punjab wing, was arrested while travelling with his guards to a meeting from Faisalabad to Lahore.
The first information report (FIR) was lodged under section 9 (C) of 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.