time Tuesday Jul 17 2018

Ephedrine case: SC dismisses Hanif Abbasi's appeal against swift trial order


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed on Tuesday Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition against a high court order directing to conclude the ephedrine case against him by July 21.

As a two-member bench took up the plea, Abbasi’s counsel Kamran Murtaza argued that the ephedrine case was set to be heard by the trial court on August 2. However, petitioner Shahid Orakzai pleaded the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi Bench to order a swift trial from July 16 onwards and conclude the case on July 21, he added further.

When Murtaza argued that the high court cannot change the trial’s date, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that in fact, under Article 203 of the Constitution, the high court has the authority to do so.

The bench then dismissed Abbasi’s petition. 

Meanwhile, the hearing against Abbasi is taking place in the trial court today as per the high court's orders. 

On July 11, the LHC Rawalpindi Bench had ordered that the narcotics smuggling trial against Abbasi be concluded on July 21.

LHC Justice Abdul Rehman Lodhi, while hearing a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai, had also ruled that daily proceedings in the case take place from July 16 onwards.

Abbasi, who is contesting the upcoming election from NA-60, Rawalpindi, faces charges of misusing 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine which he obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the CNS Act.

ANF officials claim the substance was sold by Abbasi to narcotics smugglers who used it to make 'party drugs'.

The trial has been ongoing in a Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court in Rawalpindi.

Abbasi and the other accused, including his brother, were indicted in 2014 by the CNS Court.

Abbasi, a former MNA from Rawalpindi, is expected to have a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed — who is allied with PML-N's chief opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.