An Anti-Narcotics Court provided copies of charge sheets on the ephedrine case, submitted by Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), to the six accused including a former PML-N lawmaker and owner of a pharmaceutical company.
Apart from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Hanif Abbasi, the other five accused who were handed charge sheets by the Control of Narcotics Substances Court (CNSC) Special Judge Arshad Mehmood Tabbasum are Ghazanfar Ali, Muhammad Nasir Khan, Rana Mohsin Khurshid, Siraj Ahmed Abbasi and Nazakat Khan.
However, the court did not frame charges against the accused and adjourned the hearing till September 2, when the formal indictments are expected to be issued.
When the case was taken up on Friday, it was the first time all of the accused in the ephedrine case had been assembled under one roof.
The court displayed annoyance at ANF investigators for not submitting charge sheets against two other accused — Hanif Abbasi’s brother Muhammad Basit Abbasi, and Ahmed Bilal Adil.
Ghulam Mustafa Kandwal, representing Abbasi, told journalists outside the court that he would file a petition with the CNSC, pleading that Section 9-C of the Control of Narcotics Substances Act could not be inserted in the case.
He said that in November 2012, Abbasi obtained bail from the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench, which had also observed that the said section had not been inserted.
Meanwhile, the court extended the interim pre-arrest bails of three other accused, Khawaja Asad, Salim Akhter and Qazi Abdul Rashid owing to the absence of their defense lawyer Sardar Muhammad Ishaq Khan till the next hearing on September 2.
The CNSC will take up the main ephedrine and assets case today (Saturday).
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2013.