RAWALPINDI: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday granted post-arrest bail to a former Deputy Drug Controller, Ministry of Health, Abdul Sattar Surani, in a case of allocating 9,000kg ephedrine quota to two pharmaceutical companies allegedly in violation of rules and regulations.
The LHC, Rawalpindi Bench, comprising Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi, granted bail to Surani against the surety bonds of one million rupees after the ANF prosecutors and investigators could not convince the court for Surani’s further custody. It is pertinent to mention here that this is the first post-arrest bail, granted in this high profile ephedrine case that was allegedly smuggled to some other countries.
Earlier, a special judge of the Anti-Narcotics Control Court had denied bail to Surani.Former Deputy Drug Controller Abdul Sattar Surani’s counsel Abdul Rasheed Sheikh argued before the court that there was no evidence with the ANF officials against his client. His client was deputy drug controller pricing at the Ministry of Health and had nothing to do with allocation of the quota for export of ephedrine to Iraq and Afghanistan, he argued. Surani was arrested in April this year.
The counsel for Surani argued there was no proof that the chief executive of Danas Pharmaceutical, Islamabad, a company that obtained ephedrine quota, paid rent of Surani’s house as alleged by the ANF.
The lawyer said in the first investigation report submitted with the trial court, the ANF had cited Surani as a prosecution witness but later included him in the list of accused after he denied to become an approver against Ali Musa Gilani, son of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani, and former Health Minister Makhdoom Shahbudin, Advocate Rasheed also argued.
The ANF Public Prosecutor Wasim Ahmed produced some letters before the court, showing Surani was serving as deputy drug controller, registration, in the Ministry of Health in 2010 when he consented to allocate the quota of ephedrine. He could not satisfy the court about why these letters and minutes of the meetings had not been annexed with the complete investigation report submitted against Surani with the trial court.