Rawalpindi                    -               An apex court on Thursday acquitted two convicted drug smugglers on the basis of contradictions in the statements of witnesses regarding mode and manner of recovery of 90kg Charas.

The court also called off life imprisonment of two convicts who have been identified as Zahid Zaman and Umar Ali.

According to details, a division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Raja Shahid Mehmood Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz took up drug smuggling case during which Raja Ghaneem Aabir Khan and Muhammad Ilyas Khan Advocates appeared on behalf of the convicts. The defence lawyers stated there are huge contradictions in the statements of the witnesses/police officers they had recorded before the lower court during trial. They said SI Tariq of police station Naseerabad had recorded his statement that he had seized the drugs from the vehicle of the two accused and handed it over to the than duty officer SI Fazal-e-Akbar. Whereas, the Moharar Mal-Khana (recovery store) head constable Muhammad Bashir contradicted the statement of SI Tariq by informing in witness box that the case property was submitted in the store by SI Tariq. The defence lawyers also argued before divisional bench that there was also contradiction in the recovery manner of police. SI Tariq in his statement claimed he had recovered Charas from beneath the seats of the vehicle while ASI Muhammad Nazir claimed he had found Charas concealed in secret cavities of the vehicle.

They said the police officers were also not on same page regarding the raid as SI Tariq claimed he stopped the vehicle and conducted search and ASI Nazir stated he along with others seized drugs from vehicle. The defence counsels pleaded before the court that police roped their clients in a bogus drug case and prayed to acquit them from the case. After completion of arguments of defence lawyers, LHC Rawalpinid Bench Justice Raja Shahid Mehmood Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz cancelled the life imprisonment of the convicts and ordered their release.

Earlier, PS Naseerabad officials held the duo at Fateh Jhang Toll Plaza on 3/9/2014 seizing 90 kg Charas from a vehicle they were travelling in.

A case was registered against the accused and an additional session judge convicted and sentenced them life imprisonment on 18/1/2018.