ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court Wednesday granted 2-week pre-arrest bail to Federal Minister for Textile Industries Makhdoom Shahabuddin in ephedrine quota case.
Accepting the pre-arrest bail application of Shahabuddin, a three-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk directed him to submit two surety bonds of Rs0.5 million each whereas the court also issued notice to the Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) for September 25.
At the outset of the hearing, Sardar Ishaq argued that the ephedrine quota was not allotted by his client but former Director General Health Rashid Jumma, adding that a case against Shahabuddin was registered after passage of unreasonable amount of time.
He argued that though the ANF registered ephedrine case on October 10, but proceedings were suddenly initiated against Makhdoom Shahabuddin nine months later, just a day before his nomination as prime minister. Terming arrest warrant against his client in the instant matter as conspiracy Sardar Ishaq said Makhdoom Shahabuddin has nothing to do with ephedrine quota allotment.
Sardar Ishaq alleged that under the pressure of the ANF the owner of a pharmaceutical company Rizwan Ahmad became an approver in the case, adding it was his client who initiated the case on ephedrine issue. Justice Tariq Pervez on that remarked that action over the ephedrine scam was taken on a call attention notice of the parliament.
Questioning legality of two approvers’ statements in the case, Sardar Ishaq objected that these were not recorded before the court of magistrate. He informed the bench that due process of law was not adopted as affidavits relating to statements of the approvers were produced in the court, adding that he has challenged both the affidavits.
While talking to the media persons after hearing the case, Federal Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin denied any charges against him saying no challan contain his name in the case. Avoiding more questions of the press he said “the matter is sub judice”.
Meanwhile, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered the ANF to investigate the case in a transparent manner. The court also directed the pharmaceutical companies not to blame the ANF unnecessarily. Earlier, the lawyers of some pharmaceutical companies alleged that the ANF investigator harassing their clients unnecessarily. They said that false cases have registered against them.
Brig Faheem informed the court that the owner of some companies including PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi has put banners in the city to malign the ANF. Justice Jawwad, a member of the bench, told the counsel of Hanif Abbasi to face the investigation and the court has to draw balance. Brig Faheem told the court that they have registered FIR against seven pharmaceutical companies for misusing ephedrine.