Awami Muslim League (AML) leader and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addressed the Supreme Court of Islamabad (IHC) on Friday, challenging the appointment of PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi as a special aide to the prime minister.
The Pakistani federation through the Cabinet Secretary and the PML-N leader have been named as respondents to a complaint lodged by Rashid adviser Sajeel Sheryar Swati.
The development comes days after the newly appointed SAPM announced a $ 50,000 reward for anyone who brought him Rashid’s wig, a statement in which PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar expressed concern.
In the complaint, Rashid said Abbasi had been appointed as SAPM by notice on April 27th. [the] The appointment is illegal, illegal, unconstitutional and violates the principles of good governance and the rule of law, ”he said.
The AWL chief noted that the first information report dated July 21, 2012 was registered against Abbasi in Rawalpindi under Section 9 (c), 14 and 15 of the Narcotic Substances Act, 1997 .
“The brief facts accused of the aforementioned Fire are [Abbasi] (and others) received 500kg of ephedrine for his company ie Gray Pharmaceutical. After that, [Abbasi] instead of using ephedrine for official medical / industrial purposes he sold it to drug traffickers and they made illicit profits.
The plaintiff also alleged that Abbasi was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2018 by a court of law. It further stated that Abbasi had appealed the decision to the Lahore High Court (LHC) and filed a separate application seeking the suspension of his sentence and bail.
He said on April 11, 2019, the LHC overturned only Abbasi’s sentence and not sentencing.
Rashid said the office of the special assistant has a high reputation. Admittedly, a person convicted of a criminal offense, especially one who has been convicted of a criminal offense, is not a fit and proper person to hold such a high office. “
The former minister also argued that the LHC had revoked Abbasi’s sentence, meaning he was “still serving his sentence”. He added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had abused his power and made a “mockery of the law and the Constitution” by doing so.
Rashid asked the court to order the defendants to show under what jurisdiction Abbasi was appointed as SAPM.
Ephedrine quota case
The ephedrine case came to light in March 2011 when then-minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin told the National Assembly that the government would investigate the alleged embezzlement of 9,000kg of ephedrine from two pharmaceutical companies – Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharmaceutical Limited.
According to regulations, the company may not provide a quota of production of more than 500kg of a drug, a limit set by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
The Anti-Drug Administration (ANF) finally registered the case in June 2012 against nine suspects, including Abbasi.
In 2018, he was found guilty of selling 500kg of ephedrine to drug traffickers. He had acquired a controlled chemical of his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010. However, instead of using it for medical purposes, Abbasi sold it to narcotics traffickers.
PML-N fined Rs1 million and life imprisonment Seven others were acquitted. Rawalpindi CNS Court sentenced Hanif Abbasi to life in prison just before the July 25 general election.
Subsequently, the PML-N leader filed an appeal against his conviction before the LHC Rawalpindi bench. Later, two LHC judges for Rawalpindi Bench stopped hearing the PML-N leader’s appeal in the ephedrine case. The case was transferred to the Lahore LHC bench.
In April 2019, the LHC reversed the life sentence handed down to Abbasi and ordered his release on bail. The two-member bench, led by Justice Alia Neelum, accepted Abbasi’s appeal, but announced that he would continue to hear the case.