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Fata tribunal acquits minors in drugs case

Bureau Report 2013-10-15
PESHAWAR, Oct 14: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas Tribunal on Monday set aside conviction of two juvenile offenders and acquitted them in a narcotics case.

The tribunal comprising chairman Shah Wali Khan and members Pir Fida and Akbar Khan ruled that the two petitioners appeared to be innocent in light of the evidence on record.

The political agent of Khyber agency, in his capacity as a sessions judge, had convicted the two juvenile offenders few weeks ago and sentenced both of them to 14 years imprisonment with fine of Rs500,000 each.

They had filed an appeal with the court of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) commissioner, who dismissed the appeal and thus, upholding their conviction following which they filed a review petition before the Fata Tribunal.

Farhana Marwat, lawyer for the two petitioners (names withheld), said both of them belonged to Bara, Khyber Agency, and were students of sixth and seventh classes in a school at Landi Kotal tehsil.

She said on July 24, 2010, they were returning back home from Landi Kotal to Bara and requested driver of a passing by car named Tariq Khan to also carry them.

The lawyer said when the car reached Ali Masjid area, it was stopped by members of khasadar force at a checkpost, where they recovered 127kg of heroin from the vehicle.

She said the three persons in the car were charged under Section 9 of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act.

Ms Marwat said both petitioners were juveniles as they were below 18 but the trial court as well as appellate court ignored that fact.

She said even the prosecution could not prove any link between his clients and the driver.

The lawyer said the convicted driver had preferred not to file appeal against his conviction.

PHC ORDERS FIR QUASHING: Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan on Monday ordered the quashing of an FIR registered against former provincial minister and Awami National Party leader Barrister Arshad Abdullah, who was charged with attacking a police post and forcibly taking away an arrested person.

The former minister had filed a petition seeking the quashing of the FIR registered against him in April 2013 at Utmanzai police post.

Abdul Lateef Afridi and Ishtiaq Ibrahim, lawyers for Arshad Abdullah, said at the time of alleged occurrence on April 26, 2013, their client was busy in an election rally and was, therefore, falsely implicated in the case.

They said police claimed that they had arrested Fareed after recovering an unlicensed pistol from his possession.

They said police also alleged that the petitioner came to Utmanzai police post, where the suspect was held, along with 21 of his companions and forcibly took away the suspect along with the pistol recovered from him.

The former minister was charged under several sections of Pakistan Penal Code dealing with rioting, forcibly taking away a suspect and evidence and threatening the police officials.

The lawyer argued that the FIR was registered because of political motivation and there was no evidence to show that the petitioner had attacked the said police post.