KARACHI: The Special Court for Control of Narcotic Substances (CNS) I has allowed an acquittal application filed under section 265-K, Cr.P.C by an alleged absconding accused Sadaat Maqsood who was acquitted by Supreme Court of Judicature of Appeal (Criminal Division), United Kingdom.

According to details, the applicant/ accused Sadaat filed the acquittal plea before the CNS-I after taking pre-arrest bail from a superior court after he learnt that he was wanted in a case being tried by the CNS court lodged at Police Station, ANF-I (Crime No 5/1998) punishable under section 6.7.9 and 15 of the CNS Act.

As per FIR, ANF Headquarters granted permission for Controlled Delivery involving Custom officials, ANF and British High Commission. As per FIR “source” left Karachi for London via Bahrain on 29-04-1997. The contra band stated to be 27.37 kilograms was handed over to accused Riaz Butt who was arrested on 15-05-1998 after recovery of contraband. It was alleged that present applicant was also arrested as he was waiting nearby.

The arrested accused including present applicant were tried, convicted and by British Crown Court and sentenced to serve a sentence of 18 years.

The instant case tried by the CNS-I was lodge by ANF Pakistan on 15-9-1998, four months after conviction of present applicant by British court.

Khalid Rajpar advocate represented the applicant and arguing the acquittal plea, he maintained that main accused was acquitted by the CNS-I. The conviction of the applicant by the British Crown Court was also set aside and applicant was acquitted, released on the order of Supreme Court of Judicature UK and hence he was acquitted of charge of being involved in drug smuggling.

The counsel further submitted that under section 403 of Cr.P.C and Article 13 of the Constitution of Pakistan, trial before CNS-I is nothing but a case of “Double Jeopardy” and after acquittal of main accused in the case, there is no chance of conviction of the present applicant / accused who was declared Proclaimed Offender in his absence from Pakistan.

Ms Tasneem Sultana, Presiding Officer of the CNS-I after hearing the Special Public Prosecutor for ANF and Khalid Rajpar advocate representing the applicant/ accused allowed the acquittal plea.