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MNA granted pre-arrest bail in ephedrine case

November 02, 2012

RAWALPINDI, Nov 1: The Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench on Thursday granted pre-arrest bail to PML-N lawmaker Mohammad Hanif Abbasi against Rs1 million surety in the ephedrine case.

The division bench, comprising Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri and Justice Ali Baqir Najafi, also granted bail to other accused against surety bonds of Rs1 million each. They included federal drug controller Sheikh Ansar and Nadeem Zafar, the owner of Friends Pharmaceutical.

Sardar Mohammad Ishaq, the counsel for Mr Abbasi, maintained before the court that his client was a well-known politician and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had prepared the case against the MNA at the behest of his rivals to damage his repute.

He said that in 2010 the lawmaker applied for the ephedrine quota in accordance with the procedure given in the rules of ministry of health. He added: “There was no demand raised by the MNA for any specific quota.”

According to him, the ministry of health allocated 500 kg ephedrine quota to Mr Abbasi which he procured on different occasions.

He claimed that the ephedrine was used in the DSM tablets which were sold to a distributor for onward distribution in Rawalpindi and Karachi. The distributor also appeared before the ANF and confirmed receipt of the tablets, he added.

However, Shahid Mehmood Abbasi, the ANF prosecutor general, told the court that the specification of the die for DSM tablets which the MNA had produced as a proof did not match with the size of the medicine. “The tablets are slightly bigger than the specification of the die.”

He pointed out that MNA Abbasi had claimed that he sent the medicine through “Ittehad Cargo”, an official forwarding agency of Pakistan Railways. But the contract of the agency had expired much before he prepared the documents for the consignment.

“MNA Abbasi prepared false record to save his skin,” said the ANF prosecutor general. “At least, 17 chemists from Karachi also denied getting any medicine which contained ephedrine from Abbasi’s firm, Gray’s Pharmaceutical,” he contended.

He told the court that he still needed time to complete the investigation and record the statements of more witnesses.

At this, the court confirmed the pre-arrest bail of the MNA. It may be recalled that on September 6 the LHC had granted interim-bail to Mr Abbasi.