Sana to take ACE to court over forgery, misleading court

ACE team keeps shuttling to arrest minister; accuses Islamabad police of non-cooperation


Our Correspondent October 11, 2022
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced on Monday he would approach the court against Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), hours after ACE again returned empty-handed despite a fresh warrant issued for the minister’s arrest in a graft case.

The interior minister accused the ACE of obtaining the arrest warrant by “misleading the court by deliberately hiding facts.” The minister also alleged that the ACE committed “forgery” after becoming a tool of its “political masters” in a four-year-old case.

In addition, the interior minister said that the ACE did not fulfil the legal requirement of providing case record with arrest warrant, saying the move was a nefarious conspiracy to influence the federal government to get some relief for “Imran fitna” – a reference to former premier Imran Khan.

The federal security czar said that action would be taken against all those involved in committing forgery and misleading the court, revealing the prima facie evidence of forgery and fraud had already been obtained and he would approach the court against the officials concerned for allegedly committing fraud, forgery and record tampering.

The official statement said that the federal interior minister respected the court and its decisions. Sanaullah’s statement came on the heels of ACE’s second attempt to arrest him after the court issued fresh warrants on ACE’s request.

The ACE Punjab said in a statement that the Islamabad police “refused to cooperate” in the arrest of the interior minister. The officials also accused the police of misbehaving with them as they arrived at the federal capital’s Secretariat Police Station to make the arrest.

“The police did not even record the arrival and departure of the ACE team. Our vehicles were also taken out of the police station,” an ACE official stated. The official added that they would inform the court about “the actions they faced at the police station today”.

However, the capital police said in a statement that a formal arrest warrant was received at the police station but the ACE Punjab refused to provide the records. The public liaison officer stated that the ACE was directed to take the legal route as per the prevailing procedure.

“However, no clear stand has been adopted by the anti-corruption body,” the statement said, warning that “action will be taken” according to all legal regulations. “The officers of Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab are requested to resolve legal matters in a legal manner and avoid misrepresentation,” it said.

“Islamabad Capital Police is present at all times to comply with all court orders.” The police further stated that such statements were creating obstacles in the way of mutual cooperation in administrative matters between institutions, adding that they reserved right to take legal action against such misrepresentation.

Fresh warrant

Earlier in the day, fresh arrest warrant was issued for Sanaullah by a Rawalpindi court with order to the ACE to immediately arrest the minister and produce him before the court. The warrant came two days after the court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against the minister.

In a report submitted to the court on Monday, the prosecution mentioned the developments regarding the implementation of the previous arrest order, and requested for fresh warrant. The previous arrest warrant had only one address of the minister mentioned, whereas it was requested to add more addresses in the fresh warrant.

The ACE has alleged that the interior minister purchased two plots in Bismillah Housing Scheme located in Kallar Kahar area at a price lower than the scheduled rate. The ACE alleged that both the plots were given to Sanaullah as a bribe.

After the court issued the arrest warrant, the ACE officials had reached the Kohsar police station in the federal capital and asked the SHO for a force to assist in the arrest. The cops at Kohsar told the ACE officials that they had reached the “wrong” police station.

Sources said that the Kohsar SHO had refused to comply with the arrest warrant as it contained the interior minister’s Faisalabad address instead of any home or office that fell within the jurisdiction of his police station.

Subsequently, the ACE team left Kohsar and headed towards the Secretariat police station but received a similar response. With the warrant in hand, the ACE officials said they had permission from the court to arrest Sanaullah but the police were not cooperating with them.

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