Put blasphemy accused’s name on ECL: petitioner

The accused, Waleeha Arfaat, had been granted bail by a three-member Supreme Court bench on October 15, 2015


Rana Tanveer March 13, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:


Last week, an application was moved in the sessions’ court seeking an order to place the name of a blasphemy accused on the exit control list (ECL).


The accused, Waleeha Arfaat, had been granted bail by a three-member Supreme Court bench on October 15, 2015, after having spent four years in jail on charges of blasphemy. The court had granted her bail on statutory grounds as the trial did not conclude in six months.

In his application, Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry requested the court to put Arfaat’s name on the ECL and confiscate her passport so that she would not leave the country. He said the woman should not be allowed to seek asylum abroad. He said after securing bail, the woman was required to appear in person on every hearing. He said she had not appeared before the court since she was granted bail. He also mentioned dates of three court hearings when, according to him, she had failed to appear.

Mustafa said Arfaat was a resourceful woman and had travelled abroad in the past. “It has come to my knowledge she is planning to leave the country,” he said. He said her name should be put on the ECL and her passport should be confiscated by the court.

The counsel for the accused, Advocate Nadim Anthony, has submitted his comments in the court.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, he said his client had not avoided court hearings. He said after getting exemption from personal appearance, she had appeared in court through her counsel. He said on the directions of the court, his client had filed an application on every hearing for exemption from personal appearance. He said he had been appearing in the court on her behalf.

Anthony said his client had secured bail five months ago. “She has not travelled abroad,” he said. “She has no resources to go abroad and does not plan to do so.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2016.

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