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Bail granted in ephedrine case

August 17, 2012


RAWALPINDI, Aug 16: The Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, on Thursday granted bail to deputy drug controller (DDC) Abdul Sattar Sohrani, an accused in ephedrine case, against Rs1 million surety bonds.

The division bench of LHC comprising Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi accepted the post-arrest bail application of  Mr Sohrani after hearing arguments of special prosecutor Anti Narcotics Force Waseem Ahmed Qureshi and Sohrani’s counsel Abdul Rasheed Sheikh.

In his arguments advocate Sheikh said that the ANF authorities had arrested his client after he refused to become an approver. He stated that the ANF had offered Mr Sohrani a clean chit in the case if he would turn an approver against Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Ali Musa Gilani and Khushnood Lashari.

He stated that the ANF had prepared a fabricated story and levelled allegations against his client. He rejected the ANF allegations that Ansar Farooq, owner of Danas Pharmaceutical Company (DPC), had paid the rent of Mr Sohrani’s house and produced before the court the lease agreement and details of his client’s bank statement to the court, showing payment of rent of his house out of his salary.

Mr Sheikh said that neither the two approvers of ephedrine case – former director general health Dr Rasheed Juma and Rizwan Ahmed Khan, the owner of DPC – recorded anything against his client nor the charge-sheet submitted to the court mentioned any specific role of Mr Sohrani in misuse of controlled chemical.

He added that Mr Sohrani was the DDC pricing and the allocation and conversion of ephedrine did not fall in his domain.

On the other hand, Mr Qureshi told the court that Mr Sohrani had also worked as deputy director general health and recommended the local sale conversion of 1,500 kg ephedrine for the DPC.

He said the owner of DPC paid Rs0.19 million for the rented house of Mr Sohrani, adding that had the latter not legalised the conversion the allocation and conversion of 9,000 kg of ephedrine would have been prevented.

He produced Mr Sohrani’s approval for the local sale conversion of ephedrine, the statements of three witnesses recorded against him and the cheques issued by DPC to the property dealer for payment of rent of Sohrani’s house.

The court, however, observed that the recent documents provided by the ANF were not part of the charge-sheet already submitted to the court by it. It stated that the ANF should incorporate the documents in charge-sheet if it wanted to exhibit them.

Meanwhile, Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed heard the petition seeking registration of FIR against the directors general of Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and former DG ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha over the mysterious death of a prisoner.

Col (retired) Inamur Rahim, the counsel for the brother of deceased prisoner Abdul Saboor, recalled that IHC CJ Iqbal Hameed in a case of missing activist of banned Hizb ut Tahrir (HuT) had directed for registration of FIR.

He stated that following the court orders, Liaqatabad police station of Lahore registered a complaint against the directors general ISI, MI and other relevant authorities.

Raja Hameed, assistant advocate general Punjab, however, told the court that the Supreme Court was also looking into this matter. The court directed him to produce the record of the case pending in the Supreme Court and adjourned the hearing till second week of September.