DRA official pleads SC to save him in ephedrine case
05 July, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has accepted a petition by an employee of the Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan, who requested the court to save him from victimisation in the Rs 7 billion ephedrine drug case.
The court has also issued notices to Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Fayyaz Leghari in this regard, and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan Deputy Director General Muhammad Tanvir, appearing before the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, said that he had been transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan after being made officer on special duty (OSD) despite the fact that there was no office, staff, budget, or any tool for the performance of his duties.
He claimed that he had been subjected to victimisation because of a statement he deposed before the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) probing the ephedrine scandal, and his opposition to the grant of unlawful and illegal drug quotas on fake demand for manufacturing ephedrine tablets.
The applicant contended that the new task was assigned to him by the highest authorities, including Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Khushnood Akhtar Lashari and the interior secretary, under political influence with mala fide intentions, forcing him to change his statement he recorded before the ANF. He alleged that Capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD) Director General Qazi Abdus Saboor was posted as director general (health) on the intervention of Khushnood Lashari, and was given the charge of the Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan chief executive officer on May 28.
The applicant pleaded that the Health Ministry experienced immense pressure in the recent past for quota allocation of the drug and the precursor substance (ephedrine for tablets), having huge misuse potential in manufacturing of narcotic, since the country did not have any medicinal need beyond 100 kilogrammes annually.
The officer alleged that the total demand of ephedrine in Iraq – as per the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) – was 3,000kg, but Messers Berlex Lab International Multan was awarded a quota to export 6,000kg of ephedrine to Iraq on fake documents.
Likewise, the annual demand of Afghanistan for ephedrine was 50kg, whereas 2,500kg of ephedrine tablets were approved in favour of Messers Danas Pharma (Pvt) Ltd on fake documents. The application stated that against the 100kg demand, Berlex Lab and Danas Pharma were granted 9,000kg quota through conversion of these quotas from export to local manufacturing in 2010. The same quantities were approved for 2011, however these were never issued, as the firms failed to establish bonafide use of these quotas as per applicable conditions.