Pakistan: Hearing for Nawaz’s ECL case dropped

Islamabad, April 20 : The Registrar Office of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday cancelled the cause list for a division bench that was supposed to take up a plea filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2019 seeking the removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) following a court order, Express Tribune reported. The petition was fixed for hearing on Tuesday but the registrar’s office dropped the case owing to the unavailability of the two-member bench’s head Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi. It merits mentioning here that the last hearing on the issue was held on January 20, 2020 and since then, the case has not come up for hearing even once. On November 16, 2019, the Lahore High Court had allowed Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks to undergo medical treatment with an observation that the duration of his stay will depend upon the medical reports. However, the government, had refused to remove his name from the ECL and placed a condition of indemnity bonds worth Rs7 billion in return for permission to go abroad for medical treatment. The PML-N at the time had rejected this demand and went to the high court for relief. Subsequently, the LHC had allowed Nawaz to go to London for medical treatment in November 2019 without submitting any bonds. The LHC order was followed by a notification from the interior ministry granting him a one-time permission to travel abroad or four weeks in light of the LHC’s order, with the ministry memorandum refusing to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL. ACL1406

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