RAWALPINDI - The Court of Narcotics Substance Control (CNSC) on Monday rejected the acquittal plea of Makhdoom Shahabuddin, PPP stalwart and former federal minister, in ephedrine smuggling case.

The court also decided to frame charges on September 15, 2014 against 10 accused of ephedrine smuggling including Shahabuddin and Syed Ali Musa Gilani, former PPP MNA from Multan and son of former PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

CNSC Special Judge Akhter Bahadur took up the case. The defence lawyer argued before the court that his client was a responsible citizen of Pakistan and he had nothing to do with the chemical quota allocation scam. He added that his client’s political rivals were victimising him by implicating him in fake cases.

The ANF special public prosecutor opposed the arguments of defence lawyer and asserted that the anti-narcotics force had substantial evidence against the accused. Therefore, the court should reject acquittal plea, he added.–Israr Ahmed

After conclusion of arguments of both parties, the judge laid down verdict rejecting the acquittal plea of the former federal minister. The court adjourned the hearing till September 15, 2014 to indict the accused.

On the other hand, the CNSC special judge is likely to indict Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, former MNA of PML-N and chairman Metro Bus Service Project Implementation Committee, along with seven others accused today (Tuesday) in controlled chemical quota allocation scam. Earlier, on Tuesday last the court had distributed copies of challan among the eight accused including Abbasi.