LAHORE: The Lahore High Court will continue hearing the case pertaining to Nawaz Sharif’s removal from the Exit Control List (ECL) today.
A day earlier, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif had filed a petition in the LHC seeking removal of Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list.
The petition challenged the government’s conditional one-time permission to Nawaz to travel abroad for medical treatment only after submitting Rs7.5 billion surety bond.
During Thursday’s hearing the court sought a report and para-wise comments from the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The bench, headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najafi and comprising Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem heard the petition.
Appearing on behalf of the federal government, Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A Khan objected to the maintainability of the petition and requested that the petition be dismissed for being “non-maintainable”.
He contended that Nawaz should approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC) instead for removal of his name from the ECL, as the federal government had placed his name on the list and the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the plea.
Nawaz counsel Amjad Pervez stated that the LHC could hear the petition as the NAB was a federal institution. The counsel argued that the condition of furnishing Rs7.5 billion surety bonds was not based on any provision of law.
He added the government’s condition carried no legal standing as the petitioner had been granted bail in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case by the LHC and his sentence in Al-Azizia reference had been suspended by the IHC.
He contended that Nawaz’s name was placed on the ECL in the wake of pending cases against him. Pervez pointed out that the former prime minister had sent an application to the interior ministry for removal of his name from the ECL but the federal government issued the impugned order on Nov 13, allowing Nawaz to proceed abroad for treatment only after furnishing indemnity bond.
He further said that Nawaz had the fundamental rights under Article 4 & 15 of the Constitution to move freely.