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SC suspends SHC verdict to remove Musharraf’s name from ECL

SC suspends SHC verdict to remove Musharraf’s name from ECL

Supreme-Court-of-Pakistan The Supreme Court has suspended Sindh High Court’s (SHC) decision to remove former president Pervez Musharraf’s name from the exit control list (ECL) on Monday.

A five-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Nasiul Mulk, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, and Justice Ijaz Afzal heard federal government’s plea challenging SHC’s verdict.

The bench observed that the court on April 8, 2013 directed the government to make sure Musharraf remained in the country until initiation of a criminal case against him for subverting the Constitution. The order still holds to date.

The apex court after hearing the arguments of Attorney General for Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt, has accepted the federation’s plea for further hearing and adjourned the hearing for one month.

Musharraf’s attorney general Farogh Naseem had earlier said that Musharraf wants to leave the country to visit his ailing mother, however, the members of the Supreme Court bench today said that Musharraf has various cases against him on which he is on bail and if he is allowed to leave there is no guarantee he will return for the hearings.

The SHC on June 12 ordered the removal of Musharraf’s name from the ECL. The two-member bench of the SHC had itself suspended this order for around two weeks giving the federal government time to appeal against the decision before the Supreme Court.

Later, the federal government appealed to the court asking that Musharraf not be allowed to leave the country as he will not return.
Today, the Supreme Court suspended the SHC’s decision and summoned the hearing of the case after four weeks.

The government in its appeal had requested the apex court to suspend Sindh High Court’s decision for allowing Musharraf to travel abroad.
On June 12, a two-judge bench of the Sindh High Court comprising Justices Mohammad Ali Mazhar and Shahnawaz issued a 44-page verdict ordering the federal government to remove Musharraf s name from the ECL.

The high court had declared that the parties opposing its ruling could move the Supreme Court in the next 15 days and made it clear that till then Musharraf cannot leave the country.

Musharraf had filed a petition in the court to remove his name from the ECL so that he can visit his ailing mother in the UAE.

Musharraf, the first military ruler in Pakistan s history to be tried in court, has rejected all the charges levelled against him, including treason. If convicted, he can get death penalty.

70-year-old Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan in March last year ahead of the general elections ending his over four-year self-imposed exile, has faced multiple trials including one under the high-treason act for which he was placed under house arrest and barred from travelling abroad.

Musharraf has been indicted for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts. He had seized power by overthrowing the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 and ruled till late 2008.

Musharraf was also named as an accused in the murder cases of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and former Baloch tribal leader Akbar Bugti in 2006.

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