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LHC orders removal of Shehbaz Sharif’s name from ECL

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed to remove the name of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, from no-fly-list, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The PML-N president had been placed on Exit Control List (ECL) on February 22 after recommendation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and approval of the federal cabinet.

Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyer, while giving arguments, said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) included the politician’s name in ECL over directions of the anti-graft watchdog without producing any legal reasons. He added that Sharif had travelled abroad during the period of inquiries against him.

NAB prosecutor said that an inquiry was continued in presence of solid evidences against Sharif in assets worth Rs3.3 billion beyond his income through known sources. The prosecutor said that he should contact related forum for removal of his name from no-fly-list.

LHC judge questioned how could a name be included in ECL on the basis of allegations and whether it did not come in violation of court orders.

The court rejected verbal arguments of NAB prosecutor and directed to provide documented evidences.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the federal government to remove Shehbaz Sharif’s name from no-fly-list.

On February 28, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif had challenged placing his name on the ECL in the Lahore High Court.

Defence counsel in his arguments said someone’s name cannot be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) only on assumptions as it is the violation of the basic rights.

The PML-N president had been placed on Exit Control List (ECL) on February 22 after the recommendation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and approval of the federal cabinet.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had recommended the interior ministry to place Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the exit control list (ECL) on February 18.

The accountability bureau, in a letter to the interior ministry, had cited that investigations against Shehbaz Sharif, were under process in a case of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income, hence his name should be placed on the ECL.

Corruption cases

Former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif currently facing two corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

In Ramzan Sugar Mills reference, he has been accused by the NAB for misusing his authority as Punjab chief minister to benefit factories owned by his sons that cost rs 200 mn to the national exchequer.

In Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme, he is also facing charges of misusing his authority to illegally issue directives for cancellation of contract with regard to the housing project in 2014, causing Rs 715 mln loss to the exchequer.

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