People on ECL can’t go abroad sans Interior Ministry permission: SC

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the federal government to ensure that people on the Exit Control List (ECL) do not travel abroad without permission from the Interior Ministry as it resumed its suo motu hearing into “perceived interference” by “persons in authority” in criminal investigations.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial headed the five-judge larger Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar.During the last hearing on June 3, the apex court had instructed the coalition government to bring the recent changes in the rules of the ECL within the “ambit of the law” within a week, warning that it would issue an order otherwise.

On April 22, the government introduced significant changes to the rules controlling citizens’ exit from the country in an attempt to end the practice of keeping people on the no-fly list for years and even for over a decade.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Chaudhry Aamir Rehman told the bench that after the court’s previous hearing, a meeting was held in the attorney general’s office which was attended by all stakeholders.

“A cabinet committee meeting on ECL rules was also held yesterday,” he continued, saying that all the observations and questions of the top court were put forward in it.

 

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