SC turns down Musharraf's plea for early hearing of govt appeal in ECL case

Published: July 25, 2014
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Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had appealed that the case should be fixed for hearing immediately after Eid vacations end. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had appealed that the case should be fixed for hearing immediately after Eid vacations end. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a plea from former president Pervez Musharraf to fix the government’s appeal against the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) June 12 verdict to remove his name from Exit Control List (ECL) immediately after Eid vacations end.

A five judge larger bench of the apex court is hearing federal government’s appeal against the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) June 12 verdict regarding removal of Musharraf’s name from Exit Control List (ECL).

The bench had on June 23 suspended SHC’s judgment regarding removal of his name from Exit Control List (ECL) and adjourned the hearing for four weeks.

Musharraf had filed an application through his advocate on record (AoR) Chaudhry Ahmad Nawaz, requesting the apex court to fix the government’s appeal immediately after Eid vacations so that the matter pertaining to the validity of Musharraf’s name being on the ECL could be decided one way or the other at an earliest.

“There is grave urgency in the matter since the mother of the respondent (Musharraf) is very ill and the petitioner also is in dire need of medical advice and treatment which is not available in Pakistan”, the application says.

However, The Express Tribune has learnt that the chief justice of Pakistan had rejected Musharraf’s plea for fixing the ECL case immediately after Eid vacations. The case is now expected to be listed in the month of September.

Chaudhry Faisal Hussain, who is part of Musharraf’s legal team, expressed his disappointment over the rejection by the SC. He pointed out that the court had fixed the government’s appeal against SHC verdict in one week on Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP)’s request but despite valid reasons, their client’s plea had been rejected.

The counsel ruled out speculations that the government had agreed to allow Musharraf to visit abroad. “After the filing of government’s appeal against SHC’s June 12 judgment, departure of Musharraf has become legal issue and it will be decided in the court.”

The top court has already said it will determine four questions of law in a case related to the federal government’s appeal against the SHC June 12 verdict regarding the removal of Pervez Musharraf’s name from ECL.

Issuing a four-page written order on July 1, the top court observed that it has granted leave to the government’s plea to consider four questions.

The court said that whether the apex court’s April 8, 2013 order was an interim order that merged into its July 3, 2013, final order or not, the principle of merger was not attracted in this case, regarding the restriction on the respondent’s (Pervez Musharraf’s) travel abroad.

The bench questioned whether the April 8 order was an interim one and if, on the basis of integration of law, the interim decision was included in the final order issued on July 3. Can the Sindh High Court (SHC) suspend the April 5, 2013, decision to place Musharraf’s name on the ECL? the bench had asked. The bench also questioned if, without modification or reversal of the SC’s April 8, 2013 order, Musharraf can be permitted to leave the country.

Musharraf is facing four criminal cases including one high treason case, filed by the federal government. Prior to the filing of the government’s complaint, four petitions were filed before the Supreme Court wherein the petitioners had prayed for a direction to the federal government to prosecute the respondent (Musharraf) under the high treason Act 1973.

The court on April 8, 2013 directed the secretary interior to make sure Musharraf’s name was placed on the ECL. His name had already been placed on the ECL on April 5, 2013 pursuant to the SHC’s March 29, 2013 order, wherein it was directed that Musharraf will not leave the country without permission of the trial court. Later, a division bench of the SHC declined to exclude Musharraf’s name from ECL.

Musharraf challenged the federal government’s April 5, 2013 order placing him on the ECL as well as the April 2, 2014 order rejecting his application to withdraw the earlier order.

The SHC on June 12 allowed his plea and struck down the Office Memorandum dated April 5, 2013 on the grounds that the top court’s April 4 order had merged into a final order dated July 3, 2013, wherein all four petitions were disposed of but no order was made to place Musharraf’s name on the ECL. Additionally, the April 4, 2013 Memorandum had not mentioned any of the grounds enumerated in Rule 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules 2010 according to which the federal government is empowered to prevent any person from leaving the country.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Hamood
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:04PM

    Nawaz Sharif has not learned anything from his past mistakes. This time the outcome for him will be even worse.

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  • Shahid
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:28PM

    When supereme court can hear this case on emergency basis why the supereme court is delaying hearing this case now because Supereme court is in Nawaz sharif’s pocket.

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  • Malveros
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:44PM

    Time for Musharraf to learn to never wave his fists in the air again.

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  • Alpha
    Jul 25, 2014 - 9:52PM

    name of the supreme court shoud be changed To Sharif’s Supreme court for pakistanis

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  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 25, 2014 - 10:22PM

    What has NS go to do with Court decisions?

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  • Saira Ahmad
    Jul 25, 2014 - 10:56PM

    In case of biased decisions that show colors of revenge, there is apprehension that a time will come when people refuse to accept and act upon them.

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  • Rumi
    Jul 25, 2014 - 11:55PM

    Come on, you can’t drag NS or the Govt into everything. An early hearing would tantamount to preferential treatment. And preferential treatment to influential individuals like Musharraf only discredits the judicial system.

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  • Rawalpindi Kid
    Jul 26, 2014 - 12:00AM

    Justice delayed is justice denied and these judges know it yet they will go to extremes to show their bias and vengience. Musharraf will not get justice from this supreme court, nor will Imran Khan, and they already denied Qadri on the lame excuse of him being a dual citizen (not on the merit of the petition). Bravo, you make the nation proud!

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  • Rumormonger
    Jul 26, 2014 - 12:03AM

    One party say, democracy is the best revenge, the other says, revenge is the best democracy. Goodluck Pakistnis

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  • unbelievable
    Jul 26, 2014 - 12:32AM

    You guys ever going to grow a set and actually put him on trial? Enough to the drama – either put him on trial or let him go free.

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  • Ali. I
    Jul 26, 2014 - 1:27AM

    In ex CJP tenure many actions were taken upon the death of cats and dogs however IK petion for alleged rigging in 2013 election was thrown out despite numerous valid inevitable evidences.

    In 2014 100 people got shot in broad day light including pregnant women, Supreme Court didn’t even bothered to look at the matter.

    I leave the matter on your judgement to determine whether SC is in PMLN pocket or not!!

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  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 26, 2014 - 1:28AM

    @Rwp Kid So the justice delayed to several hundred other people in line is not important? PTI and Musharraf cases should be heard right away but not the ones who are in line before them? I am not sure if I follow your twisted logic here.

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  • lol
    Jul 26, 2014 - 4:00AM

    Judicial system? It is as corrupt as our police, ask anyone! And lets not forget how pco judges like ex cjp Iftikhar became dry cleaned just for going against Musharaf! Now we know what those judges gained from that 2007 movement, all of the judges, their relatives & lawyers have been rewarded well :) we deserve all the sufferings in Pakistan since must of us keep a blind eye on the truth.

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  • Liaqat ali
    Jul 26, 2014 - 5:56AM

    Why Musharraf is not behaving like a brave man he always claimed to be. If it was not army pressure and he is made afraid of jail terms like NS was , then proabaly he will submit maafi naama , more humb;le than NS . I wish army backs down and let justice beserved tio the man who broke the constitution twice. Is coward and is responsble for the deathof thosands in Kargil episode .

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  • Dr. A.K.Tewari
    Jul 27, 2014 - 8:15AM

    Judges feel that they may become the target of terrorists and their supporters if the judgement goes in fevour of Mussarraf .

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  • Saira Ahmad
    Jul 27, 2014 - 3:11PM

    @Malveros: Time for PML N to learn never kill the innocent masses in Model Town Lahore because their blood can force PML N to face the bucket.

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  • Rawalpindi Kid
    Aug 4, 2014 - 11:41PM

    @H Chaudhry:
    Again I have to explain simple logic to PMLN supporters…so here it is. The very same SC bench took up the very same case petition from the govt within a few days, but for the same case when Musharraf filed the petition to hear the case they set a hearing 4 weeks later. When those 4 weeks passed they extended the hearing into September. If they are so backed up then how could they assemble within days to hear the govt petition and draft up a list of questions and suspend the Sindh HC decision which went in favor of Musharraf? To any neutral observer it is evident they are playing a one-sided game. Thus the denial of justice. If they don’t have time then they should have set the same 2 months delay in hearing the govt., or if they have time then hear the affected person’s petition with the same urgency. Two different standards is what smacks of bias, which is clear.

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