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Removal of Musharraf’s name from ECL: Govt challenges SHC verdict in SC; case fixed for Monday

* Three-member bench headed by Justice Saqib Nisar to hear the case * SHC bench sends Musharraf’s application for review of verdict to chief justice

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The federal government on Saturday appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Sindh High Court’s decision allowing former president Pervez Musharraf to leave the country.
The court accepted the appeal and has fixed the case for Monday. A three-member bench headed by Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khoosa and Justice Ijaz Afzal has been constituted to hear the appeal.
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt submitted the appeal on behalf of the federal government pleading to the court to maintain travel restriction on the former president. The plea maintained that the former dictator is the sole accused in the high treason case and that it is too ‘risky’ to allow him leave the country as he might not return to the country. The AGP said that beside the high treason case, many other criminal cases against Musharraf were pending in different courts of the country. The government has appealed to the court that the former dictator should not be permitted to travel abroad and his name be not removed from the exit control list.
The SHC had directed the government to remove former president’s name from the ECL, while suspending the operation of the judgement for 15 days to allow the government to file an appeal.
In Karachi, a division bench of the SHC on Saturday referred to its chief justice an application filed by former president seeking modification in court’s decision of giving around two weeks time to the federal government to file an appeal against the decision in the ECL case for constitution of a special bench to hear the application.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who headed the division bench that announced the verdict on petition of Pervez Musharraf, heard the application and said since he and another member of the division bench, Justice Shahnawaz Tariq, were on vacations, constitution of a special bench for any judicial work amounts to assignment of roster and these powers can only be exercised by the chief justice. Therefore, he directed the court office to place the matter before the chief justice to pass any order he may deem fit in this regard. He further directed that if the bench is constituted the members of the bench may be informed accordingly so that the matter may be taken up on June 16.
Meanwhile, the court directed federal law officer Salman Talibuddin to seek instructions from the federal government on filing any objections on application of Pervez Musharraf. Salman informed the court that federal government had already filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the SHC decision.

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