Ephedrine scam: Gilani junior and Shahabuddin’s bail extended
By: Mudassir Raja
RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday extended interim pre-arrest bails of Minister for Textile Industries Makhdoom Shahabuddin and MNA Ali Musa Gilani, son of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani, in the case of illegal allotment of ephedrine quota.
Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi of LHC’s Rawalpindi bench extended the bail of the accused till August 27, allowing the leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party to celebrate Eid at home.
The high court has extended the interim pre-arrest bail of health minister Shahabuddin for six times since he first filed an application on June 28, while Ali Musa Gilani has been granted three extensions since July 16.
The bench was requested to adjourn hearing since Shahabuddin’s counsel, Shah Khawar, had to appear before the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, counsel for Ali Musa Gilani, Dr Khalid Ranjha, said he had no objection to deferring the proceedings till August 27 as the bail pleas of the two accused should be heard together.
Anti-Narcotics Force ANF Special Public Prosecutor Wasim Ahmed, however, objected to the delay in the disposal of the bail pleas.
Former director general health Dr Rasheed Jumma in his statement as state approver had accused both Ali Musa Gilani and Shahabuddin of pressurising him to convert the export quota so that 9,000 kilogram ephedrine could be used for local consumption in 2010.
Two pharmaceutical companies Danas and Berlex were allocated huge quantities of ephedrine in excess of their quotas. Both firms did not keep a record of consumption of the controlled chemical.
Another accused Rizwan Khan, former director of Danas Pharmaceuticals, in his statement as approver had claimed that ephedrine was smuggled to Iran through Balochistan which netted Rs7 billion for the people involved.