RAWALPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi Bench, awarded post-arrest bail to former deputy drug controller health in the ephedrine smuggling case here on Thursday.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Ibad-ur-Rehman Lodhi and Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed granted post arrest bail to former DD Health Abdul Sitar Surrani, the accused in allocating huge quantity of controlled chemical to two pharmaceutical companies while violating the set rules and regulations. The court also ordered Sitar to submit surety bond worth Rs 1 million after his bail was accepted.

The investigators of Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) and Special Prosecutor could not satisfy the LHC Rawalpindi Bench that the Force needed further custody of former DD in Ephedrine smuggling case.

Similarly, this is the first bail plea in high profile case of ephedrine allocating scam that was accepted by the LHC as earlier ANF Special Judge had refused to grant bail to Abdul Sitar Surrani. Arguing before the LHC Rawalpindi Bench, the defense lawyer Abdul Rasheed Sheikh said that ANF investigators could not provide any solid evidence against his client in the controlled chemical smuggling case. He said that Surrani was Deputy Drug Controller in Ministry of Health that was why he was being roped in the case.

 He added that his client has nothing to do with allocation of Ephedrine quota to smuggle to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The allegation that the Danas Pharmaceuticals’ Chief Executive paid rent of Surrani’s house is wrong as ANF investigators had no substantial evidences to prove the allegations” he added.

In its first investigation report that ANF submitted with court, Sheikh said, the ANF had cited Surani as prosecution witness but later included him in the list of accuse after he denied to become approver against Syed Ali Musa Gilani, son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Federal Minister for Textile Industries Makhdoom Shihbuddin, the lawyer representing Surrani mentioned.

He also told the court that Dr Rasheed Jumma and Rizwan Khan, the two accused who also became approver, did not utter even a single word against his client during their statements they got recorded before ANF interrogators.  

ANF Special Prosecutor Wasim Ahmed, on the other hand, also produced certain documents showing Abdul Sitar Surrani was serving as Deputy Drug Controller registration in Ministry of Health in 2010 when he allocated the quota of Ephedrine to two Pharma Companies to smuggle it abroad.

Washeem, however, could not satisfy the court as to why these letters and minutes of meetings had not been made part of investigation report submitted by investigators against the accused with ANF court.

ANF Prosecutor Waseem also could not produced the cheque worth Rs 198,000 that was paid allegedly to Surrani by Ansar Farooq Chief Executive Danas Pharmaceutical as rent of his house he got in Sector I-8 Islamabad.