The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday reserved its order on the application of former federal minister and PPP Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain seeking permission to leave the country for undergoing a spinal surgery abroad.

Headed by Justice Junaid Ghaffar, a two-judge bench reserved the verdict for a date to be later pronounced by the court’s office after hearing concluding arguments of Dr Hussain's counsel Barrister Latif Khosa, deputy attorney general and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor.

Explore: Dr Asim Hussain case timeline

In his concluding arguments, Khosa said that Hussain's name was placed on the exit control list (ECL) with mala fide intentions as there were no solid grounds for the move.

He claimed that the federal government intended to deprive his client of availing medical treatment abroad.

At the previous hearing, Dr Hussain's counsel had told the bench that his client “may lose his life if he did not undergo a spinal surgery abroad” as the federal government justified its decision of barring Hussain from leaving the country.

Earlier, opposing the plea of the former federal minister, the federal government informed the SHC that Dr Hussain was barred from leaving the country because of his involvement in multi-billion rupee corruption cases.

Deputy Attorney General Liaquat Shaikh argued that the interior ministry had placed the name of Dr Hussain on the ECL on the order of the high court and recommendations of the NAB, the country’s top anti-graft body that filed two corruption references against him.

He submitted that Dr Hussain could not be allowed to leave the country due to his involvement in massive corruption cases and pleaded to the court to reject his application seeking removal of his name from the ECL.

NAB Prosecutor Muhammad Altaf also vehemently opposed Dr Hussain's plea for leaving the country and contended that the SHC while granting him bail in the corruption cases on the medical grounds had directed him to deposit his passports along with the surety amount.

He pointed out that the SHC in its order had directed the interior ministry to place Dr Hussain's name on the ECL.

The NAB prosecutor contended that the name of a person involved in causing losses to the national exchequer could be placed on the ECL under the rules and regulations.

The interior ministry, on behalf of the federal government, informed the court that Dr Hussain’s name had been added to the ECL on Nov 24, 2015, on NAB’s recommendation that the accused was involved in massive corruption and misuse of authority.

The ministry said his name was further placed on the ECL on April 6 this year in compliance with an SHC order.

An antiterrorism court had on April 15 allowed Dr Hussain to travel abroad after submitting a surety of Rs2 million. It also ruled that if Dr Hussain did not return, the state should take over his hospitals.

Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide to PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari, was released from a sub-jail set up for him at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on March 31 after a little over 19 months in detention. He was granted bail in two corruption references filed by NAB for allegedly causing huge losses to the national exchequer through corrupt practices.

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