Will take ACE to court for ‘record tampering’: Rana

Interior minister 'escapes' arrest yet again, says anti-corruption watchdog in Punjab acting as a tool for its political masters

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Monday said that he would be approaching the court against the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) for “tampering records” and “misleading the court” in a four-year-old case against him related to the purchase of plots in a housing society at a “throwaway price”.

Last week, a Rawalpindi court had issued an arrest warrant for Sanaullah. According to Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister for Anti-Corruption Brigadier (r) Musaddiq Abbasi, Sanaullah had taken two plots as “bribe” from an “illegal housing society” – the Bismillah Housing Scheme – in Chakwal district. In a series of tweets, the minister alleged that the ACE was acting as a tool for its political masters and had falsified the record of a four-year-old case against him. “The 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.”

Sanaullah clarified that all the prima facie evidence of forgery and fraud had already been presented in the case, claiming that the warrant was a “conspiracy” against the federal government aimed at gaining relief for PTI Chairman Imran Khan. “Hence, we have decided to approach the court against fraud, forgery and record tampering,” he added.

Earlier in the day, an ACE team returned empty-handed from Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station, citing “lack of cooperation” from the officials.

The anti-corruption body’s officials from Punjab arrived in the capital at around noon and left within an hour, complaining that the police officials there did not comply with the court orders. ACE Punjab Director Syed Anwar Ali Shah said that in addition to non-compliance, the ACE team’s automobiles were also forced out of the police station. “We will inform the court about it,” he told reporters as he exited the Secretariat Police Station.

However, in a tweet later, the Islamabad Police claimed that the ACE refused to present the record in the case. “A formal arrest warrant was received in the police station. Regular arrivals and departures were also registered.”

“The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment was told to adopt a legal way as per the law but it failed to adopt a clear stand,” it said. The police added that they were present at all times to comply with all court orders, but clarified that action would only be taken according to legal regulations. On Monday morning, a special judicial magistrate of Rawalpindi had issued directions to the ACE Punjab, asking them to arrest and produce Sanaullah before the court.

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