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ISLAMABAD: A team of Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Monday failed to arrest Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and returned to Rawalpindi claiming that Islamabad Police did not cooperate with them despite a fresh arrest warrant.

Earlier in the day, a court while turning down the plea seeking contempt of court action against Sanaullah, ordered the ACE officials to arrest the minister and present him before the court.

ACE Punjab Director Syed Anwar Ali Shah, while speaking to the media, alleged that the police officers misbehaved with them and pushed them out of the police station. He said that the ACE team will now inform the court about it and plan its next strategy according to it. Shah claimed that the police station staff did not record their arrival or departure nor did they comply with the court’s orders.

“The police did not even record the arrival and departure of the anti-corruption team. Our vehicles were also taken out of the police station,” the ACE officials said. Following their failure in arresting Sanaullah, the ACE officials said that they will inform the court of what happened to them and the Islamabad police’s behaviour.

Rawalpindi court issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Rana Sanaullah

On the other hand, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police, while denouncing said that a formal arrest warrant was received at the police station but ACE Punjab refused to provide the required records. The ICT police taking to the social media outlet Twitter said that the ACE was directed to take the legal route as per the prevailing procedure. However, no clear stand has been adopted by the Punjab anti-corruption department.

The statement furthered that action will be taken according to all legal regulations. “The officers of ACE Punjab are requested to resolve legal matters in a legal manner and avoid misrepresentation. Islamabad Capital Police is present at all times to comply with all court orders,” the statement further read.

The police stated that such statements create obstacles in the way of mutual cooperation in administrative matters between institutions, adding that it reserves the right to take legal action against such misrepresentation.

On October 8, Rawalpindi’s Senior Civil Judge (Criminal Division) Ghulam Akbar issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the interior minister over his alleged failure to join the investigation in the graft case.

The ACE Punjab has alleged that the interior minister purchased two plots in Bismillah Housing Scheme located in Kallar Kahar area at a price lower than the scheduled rate. It further claimed that both plots were given to Sanaullah as a bribe.

After the court issued the arrest warrant, the ACE officials reached the Kohsar police station in the federal capital and asked the Station House Officer (SHO) to provide ACE required assistance in arresting the federal minister. The ACE officials were informed by the Kohsar police station official that they had reached the wrong police station.

Kohsar SHO refused to comply with the arrest warrant as it contained the interior minister’s Faisalabad address instead of any home or office that fell within the jurisdiction of his police station. Subsequently, the ACE team left Kohsar and headed towards the Secretariat police station but received a similar response.

With the warrant in hand, the ACE officials said they had permission from the court to arrest Sanaullah but the police were not cooperating with them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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