Dawn News

Interior secretary put on notice

RAWALPINDI, Sept 6: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued notices to interior secretary in an intra-court appeal filed by Dewan Mushtaq Group chairman Dewan Mohammad Yousaf Farooqui seeking removal of his name from exit control list (ECL).

Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Justice Syed Akhlaq Ahmed have directed the secretary to file written comments within two weeks in the appeal of Farooqui who said it was in violation of fundamental rights to stop him from traveling abroad.

The chairman of the business group has filed ICA against the July 1 verdict of the LHC.

The court in its verdict had directed the finance division to settle the issue of loans with the petitioner by September so that he could be removed from the ECL.

In reply to the earlier petition, the interior secretary had said that name of Farooqui was put on ECL on March 26, 2010 along with four others on the recommendations of finance division as they were loan defaulters of Rs640 million of HBL, Rs1,577 million of the UBL, Rs824.267 million of Suneri Bank and Rs736.970 million of Bank of Punjab.

In his appeal, the chief executive of various companies of Dewan Mushtaq Group has maintained that the court had decided his petition against what he had asked for.

He said it was his fundamental right enshrined in the constitution to travel outside Pakistan and the authorities could not curtail his mobility without giving any reasons and providing him opportunity to clear his position.

He said the loans obtained from different banks were not personal loans and enough securities had been given to the banks against the loans. The assets of the business group were much more valuable than the amount of the loans and there was no chance of bankruptcy, the appellant has stated.

He said regarding the loan payments different cases were pending adjudication in different courts and the financial institutions without waiting for the results of the cases want to settle their loans.

In his earlier petition Farooqui had challenged the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981 calling it in conflict with the constitution that guarantees freedom of movement.

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