Govt gets last chance to respond to Hanif Abbasi’s plea


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday gave the state prosecutor a final chance to submit his reply on an appeal filed by Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi against his life term in the ephedrine quota case.

A division bench comprising Justice Aalia Neelum and Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfaraz Dogar expressed displeasure over the counsel’s failure to submit his response.

“No excuse will be heard on the next hearing,” the bench cautioned 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 life term.

The lawyer pleaded to the high 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 the CNS Court of Rawalpindi Judge Sardar Akram awarded him life imprisonment. The judge, however, acquitted seven other accused owing to lack of evidence.

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 of ephedrine.