RAWALPINDI - A division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) Tuesday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Federal Minister for Textiles and Industries Makhdoom Shahabuddin in ephedrine quota case till July 9, 2012.

The court also ordered Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), probing into the chemical quota case, to let Makhdoom Shahabuddin record his statement in the case. During the proceeding, Shah Khawar Advocate, the council for accused minister, apprised the court that ANF had not allowed his client to approach them two days earlier and denied him the right of joining the interrogation.

On this, LHC DB Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Yunas asked ANF Deputy Director Abid Zulfiqar and the Special Public Prosecutor to make arrangement for hearing the accused minister.

Meanwhile, LHC DB also deferred the proceeding in the bail applications of former health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Former Director General (DG) Health Dr Rashid Jumma, former Drug Controller Abdul Sittat and a former director of Pharmaceutical Company of Islamabad till July 9.

The court also set July 11, 2012 the date for hearing the pleas filed by the ANF and Dr Jumma to record his statement in the trial court to become an approver in the case.

On the other hand, former health minister was grilled by the investigators of ANF for more than 40 minutes in allocation of chemical quota case. Makhdoom Shahabuddin along with his lawyers appeared before ANF investigators at ANF Regional Directorate soon after he was granted extension in interim pre-arrest bail by LHC DB.

Makhdoom stated before ANF team that he was the complainant in Ephedrine smuggling case.

 He, in a written statement, also denied the allegations that he exhorted any pressure on health ministry officials to award any quota of the chemical. He added that as the matter came into limelight, he ordered detailed probe into the scam.

Federal Minister for Textile Industries told the ANF interrogators that it was not his duty rather of the Secretary Health and Directorate General of Ministry of Health to allocate Ephedrine quota.

Meanwhile, Anti-Narcotics Force Rawalpindi arrested two other accused in ephedrine quota scam. The two, arrested by ANF, ascertained as Chief Executive (CE) Canaon Pharmaceutical Multan Hashim Khan and Ahsan-ud-Din, the employee of Danas Pharma, Islamabad.

Later, the ANF investigators produced the accused before the court of Magistrate Shaqat Ullah and pleaded for physical remand of the accused. The magistrate handed over the two accused to ANF for four days physical custody.

The court also directed ANF to reproduce the accused before the court on July 7 for further proceeding.