Lahore High Court resumes hearing of Nawaz Sharif’s ECL case

Lahore High Court resumes hearing of Nawaz Sharif’s ECL case

Lahore (Staff Report/Agencies): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday resumed the hearing of a petition regarding the removal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

On Friday, the LHC dismissed the stance of the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and declared the petition as maintainable after hearing the arguments of PML-N's legal team.

The two-member bench headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najafi and comprising of Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem resumed the hearing of the case, where the federal government and NAB submitted their replies to the two-member bench.

The LHC in its verdict rejected the federal government’s objection regarding the court’s jurisdiction and remarked that the case fell under its jurisdiction.

The federal government urged the court to maintain its condition of seeking a security bond from the former premier.

Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A Khan had objected to the maintainability of the petition and requested that the petition be dismissed for being “non-maintainable”.

The attorney general 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.

The government in its 45-page reply opposed the removal of Nawaz's name from ECL without a security bond.

It argued that the PML-N supremo was convicted which is why he should not be allowed to leave the country without submitting a security bond.

The accountability watchdog also submitted its four-page reply to the court.

PML-N’s counsel Amjad Pervez stated that the LHC could hear the petition as the NAB was a federal institution. He argued that the condition of furnishing Rs7.5 billion surety bonds was not based on any provision of law.

After hearing the arguments, the high court reserved its judgment on the maintainability of PML-N's petition.

The LHC bench later released its three-page order and rejected federal government and NAB's objection regarding maintainability of the petition.

After declaring the plea as maintainable, the court initially summoned lawyers from both sides to present arguments on the merits of the petition on Monday. However, upon request from PML-N's lawyers, the bench fixed the next hearing of the petition on Saturday (today).

On November 14, the PML-N filed a petition in the LHC to remove former premier Nawaz Sharif’s name from the ECL.