ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Ali Musa Gilani in the ephedrine quota allotment case soon after he was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in the same case at the gate of the Supreme Court as he arrived to appear before a three-member bench for the hearing of his pre-arrest bail plea.
Ali Musa Gilani, the younger son of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, is accused of pressurising officials of the Health Ministry in 2010 to allocate quota of the controlled chemical ephedrine to two different pharmaceutical companies.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk, accepted an appeal and granted bail to Musa Gilani, directing him to deposit two surety bounds of Rs0.5 million each. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till September 25.
Ali Musa Gilani, who is an MNA, had moved the apex court seeking interim relief against the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict of September 3 denying him pre-arrest bail in the ephedrine quota allotment case. Khalid Ranjha, the counsel for Ali Musa Gilani, informed the court that a notice had already been served on him and thus his arrest by the ANF outside the Supreme Court gate was tantamount to contempt of court. He contended that the name of his client was neither mentioned in the FIR nor in any of the charge sheets submitted by the prosecution to the court. “The FIR is being used as a rouse to arrest my client and thereby to defame him in the eyes of his electorate and demolish the family’s image,” Ranjha argued.
In his appeal for interim bail, Ali Musa Gilani contended that there was no evidence against him in connection with the ephedrine quota allocation but his arrest was being sought for political reasons. He had prayed to the apex court to grant him leave to appeal against the September 3 order of the LHC.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court had also granted pre-arrest bail to Federal Minister for Textile Industry Makhdoom Shahabuddin till September 25.
Shakeel Anjum adds: Earlier, the ANF arrested Ali Musa Gilani at the gate of Supreme Court on Friday morning when he came to appear before the three-member bench for hearing in his pre-arrest bail. As the Land Cruiser jeep of Ali Musa Gilani stopped outside the gate of the Supreme Court building, the ANF personnel, led by task force head Major Imtiaz and investigation officer Munir Jaffery, who were already waiting for him, raided the vehicle to arrest him.
When Ali Musa Gilani offered resistance, the ANF personnel first handcuffed him and then fastened the handcuff chain with the belt of his pants. They later dragged Ali Musa Gilani out of his vehicle and bundled him into an ANF vehicle.
Ali Musa Gilani was rushed to the ANF Regional Directorate in Rawalpindi where Regional Director, Rawalpindi, Brigadier Fahim Khan, Additional Director, Colonel Tauqir, and Deputy Director Abid Zulfiqar were waiting to investigate him, ANF sources said. He was taken to an investigation cell of the ANF Regional Directorate but had to be taken back to the Supreme Court after receiving an order from the court to produce him before the court within half-an-hour.