A three-member bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising of Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard the case for the acquittal of Muhammad Adnan.
During the course of the hearing, lawyer Malika Saba and Advocate Khawaja Mohammad Syed apprised the court that the prosecutors had accused a 10-year-old boy of trafficking more than 160 kilogrammes of drugs on August 8, 2007.
Adnan was arrested from the Ferozewala area of Sheikhupura on the same day. According to the police, Adnan was travelling in a qingqi rickshaw with the hash with other suspects who had fled the scene at the time.
The lawyers argued that not only was Muhammad Adnan’s name was not mentioned in the police investigators statement, but he had also said that the owner of the drugs was a man named Riaz.
“The sample of the narcotics was not transferred as per the standard operating procedure and there was an error in the forensic laboratory’s report as well,” Saba told the court.
Punjab Deputy Prosecutor Abdul Waheed told the court that in the investigation, the issuing of a chalaan two years after the case was registered was also suspicious.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah after hearing the arguments said that in light of a past Supreme Court (SC) judgement if the possession of drugs for trafficking could not be proven, the trial automatically becomes about the acquittal of the accused.
While declaring the juvenile court and the high court’s verdicts void, the bench declared that Muhammad Adnan should be released at once.
Outside the court, lawyer Malika Saba said that Adnan had been afflicted with tuberculosis (TB) while in jail and he was being taken for treatment to a hospital in Faisalabad by jail officials every week.
She added that the trial court had sentenced the child to life imprisonment and unfairly imposed a Rs1 million fine when he was only 13 years old.
Saba further said that on March 24, 2014, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had rejected Adnan’s appeal and upheld the sentence that was now almost complete, stealing more than a decade of his life.