LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday disposed of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz’s petition, seeking removal of her name from the exit control list (ECL), sending it to federal government’s review committee with direction to make a decision on the plea within seven days.

On a miscellaneous petition filed by the PML-N leader who is currently on bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case, a division bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi also issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for December 16.

At the outset of the proceedings, Maryam’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarar argued that federal government had violated ‘Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981’ by not giving her an opportunity to be heard. He also cited judgements in similar cases decided in favour of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and actress Ayan Ali.

Justice Najafi remarked that Section 3 of the ‘Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981’ allowed the petitioner to approach the federal government for removal of her name from the ECL.

Tarar requested the court to change the plea’s status to pending and issue direction to the federal government to decide on the review application.

Nevertheless, the division bench remarked that the court didn’t want to enhance pressure on the government by doing so. However, the court disposed of the plea, directing the government to take a decision on the review application as per law.

Tarar submitted that his client was not so hopeful of a positive response by the PTI government in this respect as the rulers had already shown reluctance to allow her ailing father Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The court, however, observed that the petitioner could not assume what the government would decide, and sent the miscellaneous petition to the review committee of the Interior Ministry.

The counsel said through allegations of corruption and corrupt practices, Maryam’s name was placed on the no-fly list. He argued that without hearing Maryam’s stance, his client’s name was placed on the ECL.

Advancing arguments, the PML-N leader’s second counsel said they had not submitted any application to the government to remove her name from the list. He said there was no better forum than the court to resolve the issue.

He further submitted that government ministers were constantly making statement that they wouldn’t allow Maryam to go abroad.

The court then remarked that the petitioner should submit an application to the federal government so that the government could decide on the issue. Justice Najafi also observed that the court wanted that institutions should do their specific work.

The counsel said, “How can Maryam make a request to the government, they themselves are ready to take steps against her.” however, the court sent the plea to review committee for making decision within seven days.

Meantime, the court issued a notice to the NAB on Maryam’s request for release of her passport from court’s custody. The notice was issued on Maryam miscellaneous application he filed for release of her passport.

In her petition, in which she had cited the federal government, Federal Investigation Agency and chairman and director general of NAB as respondents, Maryam had submitted that her name was placed on the ECL without notice and without providing her with an opportunity to be heard through a memorandum dated August 20, 2018.

The NAB’s recommendations in this respect were “acted upon in a mechanical manner and without judicious application of mind in contravention of the law declared by the superior courts”, it added.

She had also requested to the court that a “one-time permission” be granted to her to travel abroad for six weeks from the date of her departure.

At present Maryam is on bail being a suspect in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case. Last month her father former prime minister Nawaz Sharif went to London after the LHC and government allowed him to fly abroad for his medical treatment.

 

NNI adds: In a related development, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said yesterday that doctors had suggested former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s treatment in the United States (US).

She said 88 per cent passage of an artery supplying blood to his brain had been blocked.

Talking to media peersons, Marriyum said medical complications pertaining to Nawaz Sharif’s health could be serious, and so instead of taking any risk the doctors had advised him to contact medical experts in the US.

She added that doctors might use electromagnetic radiation to examine internal organs of the ailing party supremo.

Marriyum censured political opponents, saying ‘mentally-ill people were running politics over Nawaz Sharif’s health so far.

“Mentally paralysed [persons] are doing politics over Nawaz Sharif’s health,” she said.