1. These appeals, with leave of the Court, arise out of various judgments passed by the Peshawar High Court, Peshawar, in the cases where the respondents were charged, convicted and sentenced under the provisions of Section 9(c) of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 (hereinafter referred to as “CNSA”). As the moot point is common in all cases, therefore, we propose to decide them with this single judgment.
2. Before proceeding further to examine the crux of controversy involved, it will be appropriate to summarize the facts of these cases as under:
3. Criminal Appeals No. 7-P to 9-P of 2012, arise out of common FIR No.16 dated 21.04.2007 registered under Section 9(c) of CNSA at Police Station ANF Kohat, wherein it was alleged that the respondents, who were four in number, were trafficking 68.2 Kg of Chars Garda to Karachi in a bus bearing No.PA-0085. The Trial Court, vide judgment dated 13.05.2009, convicted and sentenced each one of them with imprisonment for life along with a fine of Rs.50,000/- or in default whereof to undergo one year S.I. and benefit of Section 382-B Cr.P.C. was extended to them. The respondents assailed this judgment by filing separate appeals before the Peshawar High Court, Peshawar, whereby vide judgments dated 21.09.2011, their sentences were reduced to 10 years R.I. and the fine was reduced to Rs.25,000/- or in default whereof to suffer further six months S.I. The benefit of Section 382-B Cr.P.C. was kept intact. The reasons for reduction in sentence assigned by the High Court were two fold; firstly, the quantity of Chars Garda, weighing 68.200 Kg in powder form could have been reduced in weight up to 30-40% and even up to 50% when processed. Therefore, the quantity to be considered in determining the quantum of sentence would be reduced to 40 Kg. Thus, all the respondents for the purpose of quantum of sentence were saved from the rigours of proviso to Section 9(c) of CNSA, providing minimum punishment of life imprisonment in those cases where the total quantity recovered exceeds 10 Kilograms.
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