The Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Control which met here at the Parliament House on Wednesday with Senator Ejaz Choudhary in the Chair deferred the “Control of Narcotics Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021" moved by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed till the next meeting for further deliberation. The bill is aimed at checking the misuse of narcotics law, and increasing the punishment ( imprisonment of 10yrs and Fine of five hundred thousand rupees) pertaining to vexatious entry, search, seizure, and arrest made by the empowered person under section 20 and section 21 of the Control of narcotics Substances Act 1997.
Senators Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tarin, Dost Muhammad Khan, Falak Naz, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, Anwar Lal dean, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, and Atta ur Rehman attended the meeting. Minister for Narcotics Control, Shahzain Bugti. Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control Ms Humaira Ahmad, DG ANF and other concerned officials were also in attendance.
The Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics control Ms Humaira Ahmad asked the sponsor of the bill, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad to withdraw the bill as the empowered person if found exercising his power above the given mandate is treated as per the existing law of the Ministry. Senator Rana Maqbool said that the bill has been brought after the unfortunate incident that took place with Rana Sanaullah. Senator Rana Maqbool observed that the high court in his decision in the case has asked for further inquiry into the case but no inquiry has been initiated yet, adding that he will withdraw the bill if further inquiry is instigated into the case as per directions of the high court. He stressed inciting further investigation against Rana Sanaullah and if found innocent then justice should be made in his case.
The Chairman Committee remarked that no one should be treated unfairly and that the matter needs to be sorted out, adding that there should be no further delay in the case.
Ms Humaira Ahmad informed that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has no objection to the amendment bill but the matter regarding the imposition of a fine on the empowered person under sections 20 and 21 of the Narcotics control substances act 1997 has not been decided yet and asked for more time to look into the matter. We will revert to the committee after the CII finalized its deliberation and table the report in the committee, she added. She asked for providing time-limit to revisit the bill and study in detail the case of Rana Sanaullah. The Chairman Committee directed to Present within 30 days details of the case related to Rana Sanaullah and all the other high-profile cases pending in the courts. The Chairman Committee also told the Secretary Ministry of Narcotics control to complete contemplation on the proposed amendment bill and report back to the committee in 30 days. The representative from CII informed that the council has no objection to the amendment bill but the matter regarding the imposition of a fine is yet to be decided.
The Committee was informed regarding the Implementation status of Recommendations/Decisions made by the committee in its previous meetings. The Ministry informed that the letter about the inclusion of 3 deferred projects in the PSDP for the year 2022-23 was written to the Planning Commission on 23rd June 2022. To which the Planning commission has suggested discussing the matter in the review meeting. Regarding the matter of the death of people due to Alcohol in Sindh, Ms Humaira told the committee that as per the direction of the committee a letter was dispatched to the Govt of Sindh in this regard but no report has been submitted by the Sindh Govt and added that another letter will be jotted down to the Sindh Govt in this connection. Regarding the data of cases which are in the trial courts, Ms Humaira acquainted the committee with the breakup of the cases and told that currently 2314 cases are pending in CNS Court, 792 in High Court, and 641 in Supreme Court making a tally of 3747 pending cases overall.
The Secretary, Ms Humaira Ahmad shared the details of steps being taken by the Ministry of Narcotics Control to curb Narcotics in/around the Educational institutions as well as the Colleges/Universities, situated in Islamabad Capital Territory. She underlined that the Ministry is running a plethora of awareness campaigns by engaging students of different educational institutions. The DG ANF Mr Ghulam Shabbir himself visits educational institutions and delivers lectures on the subject matter. Ms Humaira further informed that we are trying to take the corporate entity on board for public service messages while also thinking of scaffolding law for children involved in such activity and to see how should they be treated and castigated.
The Chairman committee stressed making the surveillance system more effective to deter this peril. DG ANF said that we are not carrying out operations inside the educational institution but do operate outside the campuses. Major operations have been carried out at the entry-Exit point of Islamabad, he informed. The Chairman Committee asked the DG ANF to present a detailed report regarding all the operations being carried out by ANF in the last three months at the entry-exit points of the Capital.