Ephedrine case : SC confirms Shahab, Musa Gilani bails
13 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed the bail of Federal Minister for Textile Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Ali Musa Gilani, a son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in the Rs 7 billion ephedrine scam.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, heard the bail applications of two the PPP MNAs and observed that both the petitions have been converted into appeal and the bail already granted stands confirmed. The same bench has also disposed of a contempt of court case moved by Ali Musa Gilani against the ANF.
During the hearing, Justice Mulk said that Musa Gilani had not been accused of allotting the quota of the chemical or its smuggling and asked the ANF counsel if there was any evidence to prove that ephedrine was used to manufacture heroin, as the charge against Shahabuddin and Musa Gilani was the misuse of ephedrine.
The ANF counsel, Raja Shahid Abbasi, contended that the ephedrine was smuggled out of the country. He said that in 2010 the demand of all the pharmaceutical companies for the chemical was 5,310 kilogrammes but in 2011 only one company was allocated a 6,500 kg quota. Abbasi pleaded the court to cancel the interim bail granted to the two accused, arguing that more investigation was needed in the case and siphoned off money was to be recovered.
To this request, Justice Mulk questioned what would the ANF do if both the parliamentarians' bails were rejected. The ANF counsel said that they wanted to recover the bribe money they had allegedly received from the companies who were allotted the quota. Dr Khalid Ranjha, counsel for Musa Gilani, argued before the court that the allegation that his client made monetary gains by using his political clout in the award and later conversion of the ephedrine quota could not be proved.
The court reminded that the allegations suggested that Musa Gilani used his political status to phone certain individuals for the grant of ephedrine quota. But Dr Ranjha replied that his client did not make any such phone calls, and argued that all public representatives make phone calls to address the issues of their constituents. He said that Musa had been arraigned in the case because of a legal battle between the ANF and the civil administration headed by his father Yousaf Raza Gilani – a case in which the previous administration had transferred ANF Regional Director Brig Faheem and Investigating Officer Abid Zulfikar who were probing the ephedrine scandal.
Dr Ranjha told the court that the ANF chief and narcotics secretary were at loggerheads, as the name of his client was not previously present in the challans and was included later on. Replying to this, Justice Tariq Pervez said Gilani had not been charged with possession of ephedrine instead he was accused of abetting others in acquisition of the chemical.
Ranjha asserted that his client was not charged of receiving money. He further said though Musa's name did not exist in the two challans, his arrest warrant was issued on June 21 and later on, he was announced a proclaimed offender.