ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that ephedrine case is highly important as the whole world is sticking its eyes to the outcome of this high-profile scam.
Chief justice made these remarks when the three-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Tariq Pervez took up the ephedrine quota allotment case on Monday.
During the proceeding, the SC sought written complaint from Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) regarding the reluctance shown by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for placing the names of important personalities on Exit Control List (ECL) including Ali Musa Gilani, son of former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, allegedly involved in ephedrine quota allotment case.
During the hearing, Brigadier Fahim, Director, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and investigation head apprised the court that they had requested the Interior Ministry to place the names of Ali Musa Gilani, Khushnood Akhtar Lashari and others on the ECL but the ministry had not yet given any heed to the request made eight months ago. At this the chief justice directed Brigadier Fahim to submit complaint to the court in writing in this regard.
The court also re-directed the interior secretary to file his reply in the matter pertaining to forced transfer of an official of Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA), Muhammad Tanvir, to Gilgit-Baltistan for opposing allotment of extra quota of ephedrine involving son of ex-premier Gilani. In compliance with court’s earlier order Secretary Interior Khwaja Siddique Akbar appeared before the court and submitted that he was not the competent authority to make an official as OSD.
The secretary interior refuted the accusations, leveled by Muhammad Tanvir, Deputy Director DRA that he called him at his office and asked him to exonerate former Secretary Health Khushnood Akhtar Lashari failing which he would be fixed.
He said that Muhammad Tanvir was his junior when he was Additional Secretary Health. He said that he had extended help to Tanvir on many occasions and wrote his ACRs.
The court asked secretary interior whether he had pressurised Tanvir to exonerate Khushnood Akhtar Lashari in the investigation. In response, secretary interior said that he had not done it as terrified Muhammad Tanvir came to his office shivering because of severe fever. He sought his help for recording a statement before a magistrate under Section 164 in the ephedrine quota allotment case. He said that he asked his PS to take him to the magistrate office and help him. At this the chief justice asked secretary interior to submit his written reply by August 8.
Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary National Regulation and Services told the court that the transfer of Muhammad Tanvir to Gilgit-Baltistan had been withdrawn besides restoring his salary. He contended that the case of Muhammad Tanvir was not properly examined hence his transfer orders were reversed on August 3 after the court’s direction. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till August 8.