Islamabad: Shahabuddin granted pre-arrest bail
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail to Federal Minister for Textile Industry Makhdoom Shahabuddin in ephedrine quota case till Sep 25. Invoking the appellant jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on Monday, Sardar Ishaq, the counsel for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, moved the court to seek relief against the Lahore High Court’s verdict. The Rawalpindi bench of LHC had dismissed his client’s pre–arrest bail petition on Sep 03. Accepting the pre–arrest bail application of Makhdoom Shahabuddin, a three-judge bench led by Justice Nasirul Mulk directed him to submit two surety bonds of Rs.0.5 million each. The court also issued notice to the Anti–Narcotic Force (ANF) for Sep 25.
At the outset of hearing, Sardar Ishaq argued that ephedrine quota was not allotted by his client but the then Director General Health, Dr. Rashid Jumma. He added that a case against Shahabuddin was registered by the concerned authorities after a lapse of an unreasonable length of time.
Advancing his arguments, he said that the ephedrine case was registered by the ANF on October 10, and nine months later and a day prior to his nomination as Prime Minister by the Pakistan People’s Party proceedings were suddenly initiated against Makhdoom Shahabuddin. Terming the arrest warrant against his client a conspiracy, Ishaq said Shahabuddin had nothing to do with ephedrine quota allotment.
Accusing the ANF of pressurizing Rizwan Ahmad, the owner of a pharmaceutical company, to become an approver in the case, Ishaq submitted that it was his client who initiated the case. Justice Tariq Pervez however made it clear that an action in the ephedrine scam was in fact taken on a call attention notice in Parliament.
Questioning the legality of the two approvers’ statements, Ishaq said that those were not recorded before the court of a magistrate. He contended that due process of law was not followed and added that he had challenged both the affidavits.
While talking to the media after the hearing, Federal Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin denied any charges against him, saying no challan carried his name. He refused to respond to other queries by stating, “the matter is sub judice”.