Rawalpindi: Court reserves judgment in ephedrine case
RAWALPINDI: Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Wednesday reserved judgment on the bail plea of two identical bail petitions of federal textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and MNA Ali Musa Gillani, the son of former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, allegedly involved in ephedrine case. LHC division bench comprising Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi, after hearing the arguments of the counsels of Makhdoom Shahab, Musa Gillani and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), reserved the judgment on the bail petitions which would be announced later.
In his concluding arguments, Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, counsel of the accused said that his clients were neither nominated in the FIR registered by the ANF authorities on October 10, 2011 nor had their names been included in the initial challans submitted in the court by ANF in connection with ephedrine case. According to him, ANF under certain pressures issued arrest warrants for Makhdoom Shahab, who was frontrunner for the vacant slot of the prime minister on July 21, at the time. He contended that the only evidence against his client was the statements of two approvers, Dr Rasheed Juma former director general health and Rizwan Ahmed Khan the partner of Danas pharmaceutical company, which were recorded by the ANF in violation of certain procedures.
The approvers’ statements were not linked with Makhdoom Shahab with the said allocation as according to these statements both the approvers accused Anjum Shah of getting approvals for the allocation of 2,500 kg ephedrine to Danas pharmaceutical company.
He argued that ephedrine was not a narcotic but a controlled chemical which is used in the manufacturing of medicine.
Dr Khalid Ranjha, counsel of Musa Gillani told the court that his client was not enjoying any official authority and could not be implicated in the allocation of controlled chemical case because he was not involved in the process of allocation.
Musa Gillani was a student and was studying at England when the allocation of the chemical was made, he added.
According to him, soon after the success of Musa Gillani in the by election of NA-148, ANF expedited a campaign against him and included his name in the challan and also issued his arrest warrants.
Shahid Mehmood Abbasi, ANF prosecutor general on the other hand told the court that both the accused were involved in the illegal allocation of 9,000 kg ephedrine to the two pharmaceutical companies, Berlex and Danas.
He said the allocation of 6,500 kg ephedrine to the Berlex pharmaceutical company has been made within a week of its registration with the ministry of health, where there were at least 200 other well known pharmaceutical companies, already waiting for their turn for the allocation of the ephedrine.
Referring to the approvers’ statements, advocate Abbasi said that the one approver in his statement had identified the role of Makhdoom Shahab, Musa Gillani in the alleged illegal allocation of the ephedrine.
Meanwhile, the same court dismissed the petition of Musa Gillani seeking the court’s direction to declare illegal the statements of two approvers — Dr Rasheed Juma and Rizwan Ahmed Khan.
The counsel of Musa Gillani told the court that the trial court did not follow the prescribed procedure in recording the approvers’ statements.
He said under the high court rules the approver can only record his statements, after the confirmation of his bail or being in confinement but in this case, both the approvers withdrew their pre-arrest bail petitions after getting assurance from the ANF and right now none of them is under ANF custody.
According to him, the status of approvers is not clear as they were not in any sort of ANF supervision, therefore, their statements were illegal and cannot be used as evidence against his client.