Hamza moves court seeking removal from ECL

Updated January 16, 2019

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Opposition leader states that in Nov 2018 he had intended to see his wife who is  undergoing medical treatment in UK.
Opposition leader states that in Nov 2018 he had intended to see his wife who is undergoing medical treatment in UK.

LAHORE: Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz has approached the Lahore High Court for removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

Filed through Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, Hamza stated in a writ petition that the interior ministry placed his name on the exit control list (ECL) in an arbitrary manner as no opportunity of hearing had been afforded to him before the impugned action.

The opposition leader stated that he on Nov 27, 2018, intended to travel abroad to see his ailing wife, undergoing medical treatment in the United Kingdom. However, he said, he was informed by the authorities that his name had been included in the list on the advice of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Mr Hamza pleaded that the right to travel and free movement was guaranteed under the Constitution, however, the impugned memorandum issued by the interior ministry was in utter violation of his fundamental rights.

He contended that a bare perusal of the ministry’s memorandum showed that it had been issued in an unfair exercise of executive powers and failed to give any valid reason.

He further pleaded that the act of placing his name on the ECL was in violation of Articles 2-A, 4, 9, 15, and 25 of the Constitution.

The petitioner asked the court to set aside the impugned memorandum for being unlawful and order the ministry to remove his name from the ECL.

As an immediate relief, he urged the court to suspend the memorandum and grant him a one-time permission to travel abroad till the final decision of the petition.

Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan will take up the petition on Wednesday (today).

Hamza along with his father Shahbaz Sharif and brother Salman Shahbaz is facing multiple NAB inquiries, including those into Ramzan Sugar Mills road construction and assets beyond means.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019