Shehbaz seeks removal of name from ECL

LHC petition states cabinet issued memorandum arbitrarily

Our Correspondent March 01, 2019
Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has approached the Lahore High Court, challenging the decision of the federal government to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The writ petition, filed through Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, contends that the ban on Shehbaz’s international travel was in violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

It states that the memorandum of February 21 was passed in an arbitrary manner in violation of law and facts. The petitioner contends that the right to international travel and the right to liberty are integral parts of right to meaningful, satisfying and purposeful life.

The counsel submitted that the decision was taken without any justifiable material, upon reasons best known to the government and also in a non-transparent manner.

He contended that the impugned decision has no valid and substantial reasons for its issuance. He added that Shehbaz, in his capacity as opposition leader in NA and head of a political party, requires traveling within and outside the country.

Therefore, it asks the court to set aside the memorandum of the government and order removal of his name from the ECL.

The federal cabinet had approved placing Shehbaz’s name on the no-fly list after he was granted bail by the LHC in two National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases against him, pertaining to the Ashiana Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan will take up the petition on Monday.

Meanwhile, the same bench on Thursday issued notice to NAB on an application of Shehbaz about non-provision of copies of witnesses’ statements recorded in the trial court against him.

Shehbaz’s counsel argued that a request had been made to the trial court for the provision of the copies but the application was rejected without any reason. He said proceedings of the trial could not be held in a fair manner unless copies of the statements were provided to the accused. The bench issued notice to NAB for March 4.


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