Supreme Court issues Practice Direction on Chain of Custody

The Supreme Court Sunday issued guidelines on how to proceed if a chain of custody issue is identified in drug cases.

The Practice Direction issued by the Supreme Court describes how to proceed in case of the absence of a chain of custody form or if the chain of custody is questionable in ascertaining whether items analyzed in drug cases were seized from the accused or a place owned or is under the control of the accused.

The Practice Direction states that the chain of custody shall be considered complete if those in the chain of custody and witnesses produced in court to verify questionable chains of custody ascertain that the evidence was collected from the accused or from a place owned or under the control of the accused.

The Supreme Court's Practice Direction was signed by Chief Justice Ahmed Muthasim Adnan.

The term "chain of custody" refers to the order in which items of evidence have been handled during the investigation of a case. Proving that an item has been properly handled through an unbroken chain of custody is required for it to be legally accepted as evidence in court. Some charges have previously been ruled unproven due to problems in the chain of custody.