Friday, 22 June 2012 12:22
KARACHI: The Peshawar High Court has granted bail before arrest to Makhdoom Shahabuddin in the ephedrine case, the media reported on Friday.
Makhdoom Shahabuddin’s lawyer said that ANF personnel wanted to arrest his client at the Punjab-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa border to stop him from contesting elections for the office of prime minister.
He requested the court to grant interim bail to his client in order to enable him to contest the elections.
Shahabuddin was among the nominees for the seat of prime minister after former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified by the apex court for not complying with the court’s orders to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Zardari.
However, he has been dropped in favour of Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Talking to the media Shahabuddin said, "There is no FIR on me," adding, "Warrants of arrest were issued for me as soon as I was nominated for the post of prime minister."
On June 7, Regional Director ANF Brig Fahim Ahmed Khan told the Supreme Court that the ANF was conducting an inquiry against Shahabuddin who, according to Khan, had ordered local conversion of ephedrine after Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharma (Pvt.) Ltd failed to export asthma drugs to Afghanistan.
The scam surfaced in April when the ANF informed a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, that the ephedrine quota worth Rs7 billion was given to two Multan-based companies on the pressure of an influential person.
The case was registered in October 10, 2011, after two pharmaceutical companies, Danas Pharmaceutical and Berlex Lab International, were held responsible for obtaining ephedrine export quotas allegedly with the help of certain health ministry officials over and above the limit of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
it may be mentioned that the quota established for the drug by INCB in Pakistan for 2011 is 22,000kg. However, the quota was increased by the ministry of health to 31,000kg.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012