LHC suspends Rana Sanaullah’s arrest warrant

IHC grants protective bail to Javed Latif

The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Friday suspended Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s arrest warrant in an inquiry related to the purchase of plots in a housing society at a “throwaway price”.

Last week, the court of Special Judicial Magistrate Ghulam Akbar had issued an arrest warrant for Sanaullah. According to Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister for Anti-Corruption retired Brigadier Musaddiq Abbasi, Sanaullah had allegedly taken two plots as bribe from an “illegal housing society” – the Bismillah Housing Scheme – in Chakwal district. Taking up a petition filed by Sanaullah’s lawyer against the warrant on Friday, Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan stopped the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) from arresting the minister and raiding his house.

The court has sought the case record from ACE by October 17. On October 10, an ACE team returned empty-handed from Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station after failing to arrest Sanaullah because of “lack of cooperation” by the Islamabad police. However, the Islamabad police had claimed that ACE refused to present the record in the case. Meanwhile, earlier this week, Sanaullah accused the anti-corruption department of “tampering records” and “misleading the court” in a four-year-old case against him.

“ACE has obtained the warrant by deceiving and misleading the court by deliberately hiding the facts. This is why they are hiding the case records along with the warrant which is a legal requirement,” the minister said, adding that he would approach the court against ACE.

The case

Abbasi, the Punjab CM’s adviser, said on Saturday the ACE had initiated an inquiry against Mr Sanaullah (in 2017), who was then the Punjab law minister. “During the investigation, it has been revealed that in the opening ceremony of Bismillah Housing Society, Colony Kallar Kahar, Rana Sanaullah, who was provincial law minister at that time, participated along with his wife. The housing society’s owner gifted Mr Sanaullah two plots measuring 10 kanals as a bribe,” the adviser had said and added the plots in question were transferred to Sanaullah by the society at a much lower than scheduled rate.

Abbasi had said these two plots were still in the possession of Sanaullah and his wife, which itself was “proof” that he had got these as a bribe by using his official position. He said the case was registered in 2019 but the minister did not appear before ACE. “Sanaullah was re-summoned on Oct 6 but he did not appear before the ACE after which non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him,” he said. The retired brigadier said the ACE was taking indiscriminate action against the corrupt elements and no one was above the law.

Javed Latif: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday granted protective bail to Federal Minister Javed Latif in the cases registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) with regard to his press conference. IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani, who heard the bail petition filed by Mian Javed Latif, stopped the police from arresting the minister and also sought the record of first information reports (FIRs) registered against him in various cities.

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