Due to absence from today’s hearing, the Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected the bail pleas of Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Ali Musa Gilani, who are accused in the ephedrine case.

The court has ordered to arrest Makhdoom Shahabuddin, the former minister for textile and MNA Ali Musa Gilani, the son of former premier Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

A judicial bench comprising Justice Ebradur Rehman Lodhi and Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed resumed the hearing of illegal chemical quota case.

It inquired form the lawyers of Shahabuddin and Ali Musa Gilani about the absence of their clients.

In quite a surprising reply, the court was informed by the lawyers that their clients were not aware of their hearings.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the absence, the court rejected the petitions and said it was their duty to inform their clients about the hearing.

Ali Musa and Shahabuddin, the two PPP leaders, have been accused of pressuring officials of the Ministry of Health in 2010 to allocate huge quotas of controlled chemical ephedrine to two different pharmaceutical companies.

The counsels for the two accused informed the court that ephedrine was not included in the list of narcotics and the case could not be investigated by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).

They further said that the ANF had no other evidence other than the statements of the two approvers, which were given under pressure.

Earlier on August 29, the court had reserved judgment of the petition. The Anti-Narcotics Force can now apprehend both the accused under law.

Earlier, Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) court of Rawalpindi had issued warrants against Shahabuddin, Musa Gilani and one other person. The two accused had submitted interim bail applications in the court.

It is worth mentioning here that former DG health Rashid Jumma recorded his statement before Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) as approver stating that Ali Musa Gilani and Makhdoom Shahab pressurized him to give approval of 9000 kilogram Ephedrine quota.