ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Interior Ministry secretary to file its response on why the name of former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi was on its no-fly list.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued the notice with directions for the Interior secretary to file a reply by September 29.
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The directions were issued as the court heard a petition from Kazmi, who sought the court’s help in having his name removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) and allow him to travel abroad for medical treatment, performing Umrah and to deliver lectures.
While referring to the cases of supermodel Ayyan Ali and the former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain – both of whom were implicated in cases of corruption and money laundering and who were ultimately allowed by courts to travel abroad– Kazmi through his counsel Rai Iqbal has urged the court to issue directions for deleting his name from the ECL.
Kazmi, who was implicated in the Hajj scam case, had seen his name placed on the ECL while he was being tried for his alleged involvement in the Hajj corruption case.
Earlier this year, IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani exonerated Kazmi, ex-Hajj Director General Rao Shakeel, and former joint secretary of the religious ministry Aftabul Islam Raja, of corruption charges, stating that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) only wasted the time, money and resources of the state as they failed to establish its case.
In the petition, Iqbal stated that Kazmi’s assets, including properties and bank accounts, had been frozen. However, in his prayer to the court, Iqbal stated that he only sought relief to the extent of removing the former minister’s name from the ECL.
He had named the federation through the Interior secretary, FIA director general as respondents.
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The counsel contended that the FIA during its investigation had directed revenue authorities to hold in abeyance the transfer of property of the petitioner, prohibiting him from selling, purchasing or disposal of the property.
The FIA’s order, he said, was passed without lawful authority and without the consent of a court of law.
The federal investigation authority also froze the petitioner’s rupee and foreign currency bank accounts in Islamabad and Multan. Moreover, Iqbal said, the name of the petitioner was placed in ECL.
He added that Kazmi had filed several applications to the respondents for de-freezing his assets and deleting his name from ECL after he was exonerated by the court, but they had paid no heed to
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2017.