CJ warns of action if interior secretary fails to appear in court


The Supreme Court on Friday warned of action against Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar if he failed to appear before the bench on the next hearing in the ephedrine quota case.
A three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the case.
Earlier on Wednesday, the court had accepted a request filed by Muhammad Tanvir, a senior official of the government’s drug regulatory body, for becoming a party to the case.
Tanvir had requested the court to save him from victimisation over his testimony in the ephedrine quota case.
During the hearing, the secretary for National Regulations and Services, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, appeared in court but the interior secretary did not. The court expressed annoyance over the secretary’s absence and the chief justice warned that legal proceedings would be initiated against Abkar if he failed to appear before the bench in the next hearing.
The bench later adjourned the hearing until August 6.
On August 1, Tanvir had accused Akbar of threatening him to exonerate former health secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari from the ephedrine drug scam, or face consequences. The bench had subsequently issued a notice to the interior secretary.
Tanvir had also alleged that he was being harassed by Minister for National Regulation and Services Firdous Ashiq Awan and administration member Dr Abdul Rashid.
Earlier on July 4, Tanvir had told the bench that he had been made an officer on special duty (OSD) and transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan despite the fact that there was no office, staff, budget or any other equipment to perform duty in the region.
The applicant had claimed that he had been subjected to victimisation because of the statement he had recorded before the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) investigating the ephedrine scandal and for his constant opposition to the grant of unlawful and illegal drugs quotas of ephedrine on fake demand for manufacturing tablets.