How can an accused instruct the court, judge asks Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer

July 20, 2018

How can an accused instruct the court on when it should hear arguments, Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Ahsan heard the ephedrine case appeal on Friday.

The Lahore High Court had ordered on July 11 that the narcotics smuggling trial against Abbasi be concluded on July 21. The PML-N leader had petitioned the top court against the high court order on July 17. During that hearing, Justice Ahsan remarked that the high court order was passed after the consent of all the parties involved in the case was obtained.

He said that the top court cannot intervene when an order has been passed after mutual consent. Abbasi’s lawyer, Kamran Murtaza, said that his client did not consent to the decision and demanded that it be expunged from the verdict.

On Friday, the PML-N leader withdrew his appeal, after which the court dismissed it. The lawyer pleaded that the court grant them 10 days to present their arguments. “How can an accused instruct the court about when it should hear the arguments?” remarked Justice Ahsan.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012. ANF officials say Abbasi sold ephedrine to narcotics smugglers, who used it to make ‘party drugs’.

Abbasi is contesting the upcoming election from Rawalpindi’s NA-60 constituency. Sheikh Rasheed is contesting the polls against him.

(An earlier story on July 17 incorrectly stated that the Supreme Court had dismissed Abbasi’s appeal the same day. The error is regretted and the story has been taken down)