Case BriefsForeign Courts

Pakistan Supreme Court: A Full Bench comprising of Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, JJ. dismissed a criminal appeal against the order of the Peshawar High Court where a Nigerian national was convicted under Section 9(c) of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997.

In the instant case, the respondent (a Nigerian national) was caught by the contingent of Anti Narcotics Force along with 25 kilograms of heroin. He faced trial before the Special Court (CNS) who returned with a verdict of guilty. He was convicted under Section 9(c) of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997 and was sentenced to imprisonment for life and a fine of rupees one million or five-year simple imprisonment in case of default. He appealed to the Peshawar High Court which acquitted him from the charge primarily on the ground that, contraband allegedly recovered was destroyed in violation of procedure provided under Section 516 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. Aggrieved thereby, the State filed the instant criminal appeal.

Mr Muhammad Tariq Khan, learned ASC for the State contended that the destruction of the contraband under magisterial supervision ruled out the possibility of any foul play and thus strict non-compliance with the suggested procedure would not vitiate respondent’s culpability which was otherwise firmly established through massive evidence.

The Court held, “We would abstain to examine the vires of arguments raised before us in absence of the respondent, a Nigerian national, reported to have left Pakistan as in his absence the exercise would be merely an academic discussion without consequential impact.” Further, it was held, “we find it inexpedient to interfere with the impugned judgment as in the event of a reversal of the impugned view, a cumbersome procedure of respondent’s extradition would be a process far from convenient.”  Thus, the appeal was dismissed.[State v. Olufemi, 2019 SCC OnLine Pak SC 7, decided on 28-03-2019]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka:  A Two-Judge Bench comprising of Deepali Wijesundera, and Achala Wengappuli, JJ. affirmed the conviction of appellant alleged under Section 54A(b) and (d) of the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance as amended, for illegally trafficking and possessing 4.29 grams of heroin.

Facts of the case were such that the appellant was found guilty for both the abovementioned offences and was punished with imprisonment of life by Colombo High Court. Aggrieved by the same appellant filed this appeal with a prayer to set aside the above conviction. It was contended by the appellant that trial court did not properly consider his statement made from the dock. The main contention being that there were inconsistencies between the two prosecution witnesses on the fact of where and when exactly the notes of investigations were made. It was submitted that the notes of the investigation were pasted in the information book after 11 days of the date of detection. Pieces of evidence for the same were shown suggesting both the investigating officer’s notes of investigations were made on the same day of the detection and it was only pasting it on information book which was delayed.

Court of Appeal observed that just because notes were pasted belatedly on information book does not render the notes prepared to be unreliable. With respect to the statement made by the appellant from the dock, the trial court had rejected his statement which the Court of Appeal found to be correctly rejected. Court finding all the contentions of the appellant to be baseless dismissed this appeal. [Samban Chandrasekeran v. Attorney General, C.A.No.263 of 2017, decided on 05-10-2018]