SHC DB refers Musharraf’s application to CJ

KARACHI: A division bench of Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday referred an application filed by Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf for removal of his name form Exit Control List (ECL) to SHC Chief Justice to constitute another bench to hear and decide application.

Musharraf had moved the court seeking review of its earlier order, restraining him from leaving country without permission of trial courts.

Applicant’s counsel AQ Halepota had submitted before the court that on March 29, 2013, Musharraf appeared before the court for getting transitory bail and it extended his bail for 21 days with the condition that the applicant, Gen Pervez Musharraf, would not leave the country without permission from the trial courts.

AQ Halepota submitted that trial courts had confirmed Musharraf’s bail in all cases, including assassination of Benazir Bhutto, killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and murder of Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed during the army operation on the mosque in 2007.

He said that Musharraf wanted to leave for Dubai to enquire about the health of his 95-years-old mother who is seriously ill in Dubai and enable to travel to Pakistan. He stated that it was uppermost desire of Musharraf to be with his mother after he had been released on bail in cases against him.

Halepota said that act of placing the name of former general on ECL was violation of fundamental rights, therefore, he pleaded to the court to modify its earlier order regarding putting his clients name on ECL.

Meantime, the deputy attorney general (DAG) Muhammad Zahid Khan filed comments on Friday on behalf of interior ministry, submitting that name of former army chief had been put on ECL by interior ministry after fulfilling all legal requirements.

He said that earlier SHC had restrained Musharraf from leaving the country without permission of trial courts but in the application he has not mentioned whether or not he approached the trial courts for permission to leave the country.

He stated that applicant has not discussed the grounds for seeking modification of court’s earlier order. Hence, he requested the court to dismiss the application as it was non-maintainable.

A division bench of SHC, headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, while observing that applicant has sought review of its earlier order, directed its office to place the matter before SHC chief justice to constitute same bench, comprising of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Naimatullah Phulpoto, which had passed the order.

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