Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Peshawar [Pakistan], September 24 (ANI): The Peshawar High Court in Pakistan has said that the amendment made in the relevant law last year prohibiting remissions to convicts in narcotics cases could not be applied retrospectively to persons convicted prior to it, Dawn News reported on Saturday.

The ruling came during the hearing of three petitions filed by convicts who challenged the withholding of remissions to them by the authorities of respective prisons in the light of amendments made in the Control of Narcotics Substance Act (CNSA), 1997, last year.

According to the Dawn News, Advocate Noor Alam Khan and Fawad Afzal Khan appeared for the petitioners and contended that the Control of Narcotics Substance (Amendment) Act 2022 was passed by the Parliament and published in the official Gazette on Sept 6, 2022.

One of the petitioners three petitioners, Ajab Khan, contended that as he was convicted in 2020, prior to the said amendments, therefore, those changes in the law could not be applied with retrospective effect to him.

Noor Alam stated that his client Ajab Khan was arrested on Sept 18, 2019, on charges of smuggling 11kg heroin and was charged under section 9-C of the CNSA.

The Pakistan-based news daily reported, Alam stated that the petitioner was convicted by the trial court on Nov 13, 2020, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs100,000.

He added that the court had also extended the benefit of section 382-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure to the petitioner, under which his period of detention prior to his conviction, had to be counted in his prison term.

He contended that under the Constitution of Pakistan, these amendments could not be applied retrospectively.

He added that as the petitioner was arrested in 2019 and convicted in 2020, therefore, the law introduced in 2022 could not be applied to him as well as other prisoners convicted before it.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had opposed the contention of the petitioners stating that under the CNS (Amendment) Act 2022, they were not entitled to remissions, Dawn News reported.

The publication added that the government adopted the plea that in a similar nature case, the director reclamation and probation had stated that a prisoner convicted under section 9 of the CNSA was not covered/eligible under the Good Conduct Prisoners Probational Release Act. (ANI)

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