Ephedrine case: Judge asked to record approver’s statement

Former DG health claims he was being blackmailed by Ali Musa Gillani, Shahabuddin, others.

Our Correspondent July 10, 2012


The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Monday directed a special judge to record the statement of a former director general health as an approver in ephedrine quota allocation case.

Justices Chaudhry Muhammad Younis and Ali Baqir Najafi accepted the application of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Rawalpindi Regional Directorate Force Commander Brigadier Fahim Ahmed Khan and set aside the trial court’s order of June 19.

Earlier, the court had directed ANF prosecutors to record Dr Rasheed Jumma’s statement as an approver. The court said the statement was pre-trial —at the investigation stage — and only the prosecution branch of the ANF could record the statement of an approver.

On Monday, the divisional bench set aside the trial court’s order and directed the judge to record Dr Jumma’s statement while proceeding in accordance with law.

ANF Special Public Prosecutor Waseem Ahmed Qureshi had informed the high court that Dr Jumma, who was one of the accused, had confessed before the investigators that he under pressure-- from Ali Musa Gillani, the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, former Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, and former Health Secretary Khushnud Lashari — allocated huge quotas of ephedrine to two pharmaceutical companies.

In his statement before the ANF, Jumma, who was a contract employee, maintained that he was blackmailed by the three men, claiming they had threatened to ensure that his contract would not be sent to the prime minister for renewal.

The approver said that in 2010, a 9,000 kilogram import quota of ephedrine was converted for local consumption on the request of Berlex Labs, Multan and Danas Pharmaceutical Company, Islamabad in violation of the relevant rules and regulations.

Separately, the high court extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Shahabuddin, Dr Jumma, and former Danas director Rizwan Khan till July 16.

After hearing the arguments on the post-arrest bail of former deputy drug controller Abdul Sattar Surani, the bench said a decision would be made on July 16.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.


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