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March 26, 2019

Petition for suspension of sentence: Arguments sought on Hanif Abbasi’s plea

National

March 26, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday gave the last chance to the state prosecutor to extend arguments on a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi seeking suspension of his life term in the ephedrine quota case and subsequent release on bail.

A division bench comprising Justice Aalia Neelum and Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfaraz Dogar expressed displeasure over the counsel’s failure to submit his response. Under the law, a petition for suspension of sentence is filed along with the main appeal against the conviction. “No excuse will be heard on the next hearing,” the bench warned and ruled that it would hear arguments on different applications filed in the case on March 28.

The appellant’s lawyer contended that Abbasi was suffering from four different diseases, adding that he also suffered a cardiac arrest inside the jail. He argued that seven other accused named in the case had been freed by the trial court while his client was awarded the life term. The lawyer pleaded the court to suspend his client’s sentence and order his release on bail. Last year in July, Abbasi was arrested from the court premises soon after a court of Rawalpindi Judge Sardar Akram awarded him life imprisonment. The judge, however, acquitted seven other accused owing to lack of evidence.

The ANF had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under Sections 9-C, 14 and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act for misuse of 500kg ephedrine.

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