LHC refers Maryam’s ECL issue to federal govt

LAHORE, Dec 9 (APP): A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench Monday, disposing off a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz for removal of her name from the exit control list (ECL), referred the matter to the federal government after converting it into a representation.

The bench ordered the federal government to decide the representation within seven days in accordance with the law.

The bench also issued notice to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for December 16, on a civil miscellaneous application for return of Maryam Nawaz’s passport, surrendered to the court for availing bail in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

The bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, heard the petition, filed by the PML-N leader, wherein advocates Amjad Pervaiz and Azam Nazir Tarar represented the petitioner whereas Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A Khan appeared on behalf of the government.

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Amjad Pervaiz submitted that his client’s name was included in the ECL on the allegations of corruption.

He submitted that the step was taken without affording an opportunity to her, which was a violation of the ECL Ordinance.

However, Justice Najafi observed that the petitioner had the option to file a review against the step under Section 3 of the ECL Ordinance.

To which, the counsel submitted that his client did not file any application to the government for removal of her name as no better option than the court was available.

He said the government ministers had repeatedly said Maryam Nawaz would not be allowed to travel abroad.

If the government did not want Maryam to go abroad, then how an application could be moved, he questioned.

He argued that as per the court judgments, the court could pass orders for removing the name from the ECL even if no application had been given to the government for redressing the grievance.

At this stage, Justice Najafi observed that the applicant should have given an application to the government so that it could take a decision on it.

The court observed that it wanted institutions to work within their jurisdiction.

To which, the counsel asked the court to keep the petition pending and order the government to decide the review application.

However, the bench observed that it did not want to put the government under pressure by keeping the petition pending.

Subsequently, the bench referred the matter to the federal government after converting it into a representation.

The bench ordered the government to decide the representation within seven days in accordance with the law.

Maryam Nawaz through her petition submitted that inclusion of her name in the ECL was not only against the law but also a violation of her fundamental rights.

She submitted that her father had been shifted abroad due to his critical health condition and she was under stress on account of her inability to be with him in this hour of need.

Maryam had pleaded with the court for removal of her name from the ECL.

The bench was also requested to grant her a “one-time permission” to travel abroad for six weeks from the date of departure and release of her passport.

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