The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to share the findings of its probe on how opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) legislator Hanif Abbasi’s firm acquired 500 kilograms of ephedrine.
A day earlier, Abbasi filed a petition through his counsel challenging the ANF’s proceedings against him, arguing that it could not question him about the allocation of ephedrine quota.
However, Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench did not stop the ANF from carrying out its inquiry against MNA Abbasi’s pharmaceutical company, Gray’s Pharmaceuticals, for obtaining a large quantity of ephedrine.
The bench directed the ANF authorities to submit a full report on its investigation against the PML-N legislator and adjourned the case for next week.
He also urged the court to direct the investigators to bring forth the result of their investigations, as he believed there was no evidence against him in the scandal. “The ANF authorities have been pressuring my employees to record their statements against me,” the MNA claimed in his petition. Abbasi added that so far, the ANF has questioned 42 people including his employees, distributors and sellers and examined all relevant records about obtaining the controlled chemical.
He was adamant that the ANF had no authority to investigate the case, as the allocation of ephedrine was made in accordance with relevant rules and regulations.
Abbasi also alleged that proceedings against him were being carried out at the behest of his political rivals in Rawalpindi. “There are some 93 companies that have received ephedrine quotas and only my firm is being victimised owing to the pressure from my opponents,” he claimed.
He added that although it was not necessary under drug laws to maintain a record of the consumption of ephedrine, he still provided all the details to the ANF’s investigators.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.
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