ATC acquits Rana Sanaullah in threatening bureaucrats case
GUJRANWALA: An anti-terrorism court Tuesday acquitted Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in a case related to threatening the Punjab chief secretary, his family members, and other officers.
The court’s verdict came after the plaintiff in the case “changed” their statement.
The case was filed against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) politician at the Industrial Police Station in Gujranwala on August 25, 2022, after a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader, Sheikh Shekaz Aslam, filed a complaint citing the aforementioned threats as reasons to try Sanaullah.
Speaking with journalists at the court following the hearing, the minister spoke about appearing before the judges without hiding himself using “buckets”.
“All our leaders, including me, appeared in the courts,” he said, adding that he hadn’t informed anyone before coming to the court.
The interior minister said neither he nor any of his party’s members broke down doors of the court or stop judges from doing their work.
“We faced the law as a common man. We did not put buckets on our heads, nor did such dramas,” he added.
Earlier in February, the ATC had also issued an arrest warrant to apprehend Sanaullah and asked the police to present him on March 7.
In March, the minister requested an exemption from appearing at the court due to official engagements, but his request was turned down. The court then issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him.
The warrants were later suspended and instead directed him to submit surety bonds worth Rs100,000.
The case against the senior PML-N politician was registered under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism), and Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
It stated that the interior minister made threatening remarks on a TV show.
“The purpose of Sanaullah’s statements was to terrorise the judiciary, chief secretary, commissioner and people of the country,” the FIR added. “His aim was to stop the officials from working and prevent them from fulfilling their lawful responsibilities.”
The complainant alleged that the minister’s speeches had created fear in the judiciary, bureaucracy, police, administration and the nation. He demanded an investigation against the PML-N leader.