Karachi: Man awarded life, another acquitted in drug case
KARACHI: A special court for control of narcotic substances on Thursday sentenced a drug peddler to life imprisonment. The court found Awal Raef, son of Zar Mohammad, guilty of transporting 2,125 kilograms of poppy straw in July 2008 and acquitted co-accused Yar Mohammad for want of evidence.
The judge of the special CNS court-II, Sanaullah Khan Ghoury, who conducted the trial, pronounced the verdict after recording evidence of witnesses and final arguments from both sides.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs1 million and in case of non-payment the convict would have to undergo an additional four-year term.
The verdict said that the testimonies of complainant and other witnesses about the arrest of accused Awal and recovery of poppy straw were fully in consonance with each other.
The prosecution witnesses were subjected to lengthy cross-examination, but the defence side failed to make any gain, it added.
Referring to a contention of defence side that the truck was not searched at the spot but was brought to the office of DG intelligence and investigation, the court ruled that such an act was an irregularity in the investigation but it was not illegal and the same was not fatal for the case of prosecution.
The court observed that the report of chemical analyser was found in positive and there was no material on record to indicate that this report was the result of manipulation or tampering.
The prosecution brought confidence-inspiring evidence before the court against accused Awal and its case was based on strong circumstantial evidence while the accused had not alleged any ill-will or grudge of the customs police for his false involvement in the present case, the verdict said.
However, the court observed that the only allegation against co-accused Yar Mohammad was that he was the owner of the truck from which contraband narcotics was recovered. But he was not arrested from the spot nor was any contraband narcotics recovered from his possession.
The investigation officer admitted that he had not collected any evidence against co-accused while main accused did not disclose his name, thus the prosecution failed to establish its case against Yar Mohammad, the judgment concluded.
According to the prosecution, acting on spy information a customs police intercepted a truck near Naval Colony on RCD Highway on July 19, 2008 and recovered 40 jute bags of poppy straw weighing 2,125 kg and arrested the driver, Awal.
The customs police also charge-sheeted the truck owner, who surrendered himself before the court and obtained a bail. A case (876/2008) was registered against the accused under Section 6/9-C of the CNS Act, 1997 at the customs police station.
The judge also ruled that the convict was entitled to the benefit of the period they spent as under-trial prisoner as provided under Section 382-B of the criminal procedure code.
The jail authorities produced the accused before the court in custody and after the pronouncement of order, the judge sent him to prison along with the conviction warrant to serve out the remainder of his sentence.