RAWALPINDI – The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench awarded interim pre-arrest bail to Ali Musa Gilani, the PPP MNA and son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, till July 30 in the ephedrine case on Monday.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Iftikhar Hussain Shah and Justice Ibad-ur-Rehman Lodhi ordered Musa, an accused in chemical quota allocation scam, to submit surety bond worth Rs50, 000. They also summoned the record from Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on July 30, the next date of hearing.

The court gave extension till July 30 to the bails pleas of Federal Minister for Textile Industries Makhdoom Shahabuddin (who is a former health minister), former director general (DG) Health Dr Rasheed Jumma, former deputy Drug Controller Abdul Sattar Surani and former director of Danas Pharma Islamabad Rizwan Khan.

Khalid Ranjha Advocate, who appeared before the court on behalf of Musa, argued that the investigators of ANF had no any solid proof against his client, who was being dragged in the case by his political rivals. He added that the ANF had so far submitted three interim reports before the court, but the name of Musa was not mentioned in any one of that.

The defence counsel stated that Rasheed Jumma, the approver in the case, did not point finger at his client in his statement recorded before the court, therefore, Musa should be granted pre-arrest bail in the scam.

After conclusion of the arguments, the court accepted the request and ordered ANF to produce the relevant record before the court on next date of hearing.

During an interaction with media men, Musa denied his involvement in Ephedrine case, saying “I am being targeted by my rivals for being the son of former prime minister.”

He said the other accused in the chemical quote allocation had become approver on the pressure of ANF and there should be no doubt in the fact that all was set to declare him guilty in the case. Responding to a query, the PPP MNA from Multan said he was not in touch with Tauqeer Ahmed Khan and his whereabouts was not in his knowledge.

On the other hand, ANF Court Special Judge Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal recorded the statement of former health DG Rasheed Jumma as approver in the ephedrine quota scam.

In his five-page statement, Dr Jumma accused Musa, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and former Secretary Health Khushnood Lashari of pressing him to convert the export quota of ephedrine into local consumption.

He said Musa directed him on phone to cooperate with Tauqeer Ahmed Khan in awarding the quota, adding that Shahabuddin ordered him verbally to convert the export quota for local market.

Dr Rasheed Jumma, while briefing media, denied the reports that he was in hide to avoid the recording of his statement before the court as approver.

He said he was sick that was why he could not appear in the trial court on last Saturday. He said he was giving his statement with his free will and there was no pressure on him, adding that baseless and cooked stories were run in media to soil the situation.