No headway could be made in the ephedrine case on Saturday as Control of Narcotics Substances Court (CNSC) Special Judge Arshad Mehmood Tabbasum postponed the hearing till August 17 due to the absence of former Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari’s lawyer. Lashari is a proclaimed offender in the case.
However, in compliance with court orders issued after the last hearing, Sheikh Ansar Farooq of Danas Pharmaceutical and other accused submitted details of their assets before the judge.
Taking up the case, Tabbasum took notice of continual absence of Lashari’s counsel and ordered him to be in court at the next date of hearing. The court later deferred the hearing.
During the last hearing, the court accepted Lashari’s plea to unfreeze his assets and issued notices to the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) to present complete records for the case.
Earlier, the trial court could not frame charges against the accused, which included former federal textiles minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Musa Gilani, due to the absence of a co-accused, Abdul Khaliq, and the objections raised by the accused on the charge sheet presented by the ANF investigators.
During a previous hearing, Lashari’s counsel apprised the court that his client was sick and under treatment in Canada, adding that he would face the court once he recovers from his illness.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.