Home South Asia Pakistan Court tells govt to review decision to put 172 suspects on ECL

Court tells govt to review decision to put 172 suspects on ECL

Chief Justice expresses anger at the government’s ECL decision, summons state minister for interior for explanation.

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News Desk |

The Supreme Court has directed the federal government to review its decision to place names of the 172 fake bank accounts case suspects on the no-fly list. A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the multi-billion fake bank accounts case on Monday after a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted to probe the case submitted its report to the court last week.

The JIT had named several politicians including former president Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and PPP’s Member Sindh Assembly Faryal Talpur apart from several bankers and businessmen in its report.

The chief justice ordered that video clips of the news reports and media analyses over the JIT report be produced before the court.

After the JIT’s report, the government had announced to bar all 172 people named in the report from flying abroad by placing their names on the exit control list (ECL). However, when the court took up the case on Monday, the chief justice expressed concern at the federal government’s move and summoned Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi to explain it.

The attorney general informed the court that the JIT had recommended that suspects’ names be placed on the ECL. “Why were the names placed on the ECL. A JIT report is just a report, we have yet to review it … I find it very strange that a sitting chief minister’s name was placed on the ECL,” the chief justice remarked.

Read more: CJP orders PIA MD’s to be placed on ECL

Speaking to the attorney general, the chief justice said, “You have placed name of the chief minister of the second largest province on the ECL. Tomorrow, you will place the name of National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) chairman on the ECL and tell him to continue working.”

When the minister appeared, the court directed him to review the decision. Farooq H. Naek, counsel for the former president, requested the bench to grant him one week to submit his client’s response. His request was granted. “Tell your client that justice will be done,” the CJP told Naek.

The chief justice ordered that video clips of the news reports and media analyses over the JIT report be produced before the court. He also directed the attorney general to also submit the government’s order through which the suspects’ names were placed on the ECL.


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