Ephedrine case: LHC rejects review petition of Hanif Abbasi


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday rejected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s review petition against holding ephedrine case hearings on a daily basis.

The bench upheld the previous verdict which also directed an anti-narcotics court to conclude the trial against him by July 21.

Earlier on July 17, the apex court of Pakistan dismissed Hanif Abbasi’s petition against a high court order directing to conclude the ephedrine case against him by July 21.

According to the details, a two-member bench of the apex court heard the case in which Abbasi’s counsel Kamran Murtaza argued that the ephedrine case was set to be heard by the trial court on August 2.

However, petitioner Shahid Orakzai pleaded the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench to order a swift trial from July 16 onwards so that the case can be concluded by July 21.

When Murtaza argued that the high court cannot change the trial’s date, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the high court, in fact, has complete authority to do so under Article 203 of the constitution.

On July 11, the LHC Rawalpindi bench ordered that the narcotics smuggling trial against Abbasi to be concluded on July 21.

At an earlier hearing on April 20, Abbasi appeared before Judge Muhammad Akram Khan and requested him to unfreeze his accounts. However, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) while strongly opposing the request told the court that all of Abbasi’s accounts will be unfrozen automatically is he is acquitted.

Abbasi, a former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Rawalpindi, is expected to face a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed — who is allied with PML-N’s chief opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The ANF had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the CNS Act. ANF officials claim that Abbasi sold a substance to narcotics smugglers who used it to make ‘party drugs’.

The trial has been ongoing in a Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court in Rawalpindi.

Abbasi and the other accused, including his brother, were indicted in 2014 by the CNS Court.