ACE not seeking Sana's arrest after land case U-turn

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) took a U-turn in a land scandal case against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday and told the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench that it does not want the arrest of Sanaullah.

Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan heard the case where the anti-corruption department team, lawyers as well as the minister and his legal team appeared before the bench amid strict security arrangements.

The court inquired whether the case was registered directly or on the source report, to which the ACE investigating officer replied that the case was registered on the report made by Inquiry Deputy Director Abdul Rahman.

Read LHC suspends Sana’s arrest warrant

The court said that on this matter we will follow the Moonis Elahi money laundering case.

It furthered that if the ACE makes a statement that Rana Sanaullah should not be arrested, then the case will be immediately closed, otherwise, the anti-corruption department will have to provide the court with answers.

"I will see how you can stay as DG after making a false statement," Justice Sadaqat remarked, adding that the court has become a tool politicians use instead of "fighting their own battles".

The ACE told the court that it did not want the arrest of Sanaualla, to which the judge remarked with a smirk that "you solved this matter easily".

The court said that it will issue the challan according to the law, which will include the interior minister's name.

Subsequently, the LHC Rawalpindi Bench disposed of the petition filed by the anti-corruption department.

Last week, Sanauallah had challenged the issuance of his arrest warrant in a case registered by the ACE pertaining to an alleged land scam. The appeal was heard by LHC Rawalpindi Bench Judge Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan.

The judge had asked the ACE lawyers to satisfy the court that Rana Sanaullah took a bribe, which witness had testified that the bribe was paid and why the ACE made the case.

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He questioned how the warrant was issued against the interior minister when his name had not been mentioned in the first information report (FIR) of the case.

The ACE investigation team replied that Rana Sana’s name was not mentioned in the FIR but a provincial minister had been mentioned. The court was also informed that the accused and his wife paid less than the DC rate.

The court observed that there could be thousands of ministers, adding that if the amount paid was less than the DC rate, a penalty could be imposed. The judge said that Rana Sana appeared to have been frauded and instead of protecting him, the ACE had accused him.

The LHC Rawalpindi Bench reprimanded the ACE and ordered its investigation team to appear in court with full preparation, including a complete record and evidence pertaining to the case today.

The interior minister had said that he did not commit any crime, adding that the Punjab government was making a false case against him. He had alleged that the ACE director general was acting at the behest of the provincial government.

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