Karachi: Seven acquitted for want of evidence in two narcotics cases
KARACHI: A special court for the Control of Narcotic Substances on Monday acquitted seven men in two cases after it was informed that the investigation officer of the cases had been dismissed from service and 405-kilo hashish allegedly recovered from the accused as well as some key documentary evidence had gone missing.
In the first case, three accused — Nadir Khan, Abdul Qadir and Tariq Khan — were charged with allegedly possessing 400kg hashish in 2005 while in the second case four accused — Abdul Aziz, Naseer Ahmed, Abdul Hameed and Muhammad Asif — were booked for keeping five-kilo hashish.
Senior officials of the excise and taxation department informed the court that Inspector Mohammad Saleh Kario of the excise police was the IO of both cases, but he had been removed from service and he neither handed over the case property (405-kg hashish) nor submitted the case files and his whereabouts were also not known.
In view of their testimonies, Judge Sanaullah Khan Ghoury of the Special CNS Court-II acquitted all the accused in both cases for want of evidence.
The court also directed the excise and taxation secretary to take necessary criminal action against the IO for his gross criminal negligence and submit a compliance report within a month.
Earlier, the court had repeatedly issued notices to witnesses, the IO and the excise secretary in both cases with the direction to appear in court to record evidence and produce the case property. However, they failed to comply with the court orders.
Eventually in 2010, the division intelligence officer (excise) and some other officials informed the court that the investigation officer of these cases was dismissed from service and he did not deposit the case property in malkhana of the excise police station as well as the case files.
Despite many efforts the whereabouts of the IO were also not traceable and there was little chance of production of the case property and case files in future, he added.
The court ruled that in the light of the statements of the excise officials no evidence of alleged recoveries against the accused was available with the prosecution.
There was no probability of conviction of the accused men, even if the remaining witnesses were examined, thus they were acquitted under Section 265-H (1) of the criminal procedure code, it added.
According to the prosecution, on Aug 13, 2005 acting on a tip-off the excise police raided a house in Landhi and recovered 400-kg hashish and arrested Nadir, Qadir and Tariq.
A case (FIR 13/05) was registered against the accused under Section 9-C of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997, at the excise police station. The accused were in judicial custody.
In the second case, the excise police acting on spy information intercepted a passenger coach on Hub River Road in October 2005 and seized hashish weighing five kilograms and registered a case (FIR 18/05) against driver Aziz, cleaner Naseer and Hameed and a passenger, Asif, under Section 9-C of the CNS Act. Later, the accused were released on bail.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.