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Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday warned that action would be taken against Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar if he failed to appear before the bench at the upcoming hearing of the ephedrine quota case, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the case.

Earlier on Wednesday, the court had accepted a request filed by Muhammad Tanvir, a senior official of the government’s drug regulatory body, for becoming a party in the case.

Tanvir had requested the court to save him from victimisation over his testimony in the ephedrine quota case.

During the hearing, Secretary for National Regulations and Services Imtiaz Inayat Elahi appeared in court however the interior secretary failed to appear before the bench.

The court expressed annoyance over the secretary's absence and the chief justice warned that if Abkar failed to appear before the bench for the upcoming hearing, legal proceedings would be initiated against him.

The bench later adjourned the hearing to Aug 6.

On Aug 1, Tanvir had accused Akbar of threatening him to exonerate former health secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari from the ephedrine drug scam, or face consequences.

The bench had subsequently issued a notice to the interior secretary.

Tanvir had also alleged that he was being harassed by Minister for National Regulation and Services Firdous Ashiq Awan and its member administration Dr Abdul Rashid.

Earlier on July 4, Tanvir had told the bench that he had been made officer on special duty (OSD) and transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan despite the fact that there was no office, staff, budget or any other equipment to perform duty in the region.

The applicant had claimed that he had been subjected to victimisation because of the statement he had recorded before the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) investigating the ephedrine scandal and for his constant opposition to the grant of unlawful and illegal drugs quotas of ephedrine on fake demand for manufacturing tablets.