Control of Narcotics Substances Court (CNSC) on Monday fixed September 18 as the date for indictment of seven people accused in ephedrine quota case.
The Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) investigators submitted in the court complete challans, which the CNSC Special Judge Arshad Mehmood Tabbasum handed over to the accused.
The seven accused include Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) former member of the National Assembly, Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, Ghazanfar Ali, Muhammad Nasir Khan, Rana Mohsin Khursheed, Ahmed Bilal, Nazakat Khan and Basit Abbasi.
Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer argued that two men had already filed applications before the court that Section 9-C of the Control of Narcotics Substances Act could not be inserted in the case.
In November 2012, Hanif Abbasi obtained bail from the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench, which had observed that Section 9-C had not been attracted in the said case, he added.
The CNSC special judge also extended the interim pre-arrest bails of three accused Khawaja Asad, Saleem Sherazi and Qazi Abdul Rashid till September 18.
It is pertinent to mention here the ANF lodged an FIR against the PML-N ex-legislator Abbasi in June 2012, blaming that he had misused 500kg of the controlled chemical after procuring it for the production of medicines.
Abdur Rasheed Sheikh, counsel of Ansar Farooq Chaudhry, told the court that ephedrine is a controlled chemical and does not fall under the category of narcotics.
“It cannot be called an illegal drug unless government declares it illegal and issues a notification,” he said
“Many household chemicals including Samad Bond are also controlled chemicals and government cannot register cases against those who keep them,” Sheikh argued.
He said the ministry of health provided ephedrine only to licence holders monitored by the ministry. “The case is politically motivated; therefore the case should be withdrawn straightaway,” he said.
In the challan that the ANF submitted to the CNSC last month, Hanif Abbasi’s brother Basit Abbasi and his partner Ahmed Bilal were also mentioned as accused. However, Basit Abbasi was on an interim bail, which he managed to get from the LHC Rawalpindi Bench on August 6.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2013.