LHC constitutes new bench to hear Maryam Nawaz’s ECL petition | Pakistan


PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz. Photo: File

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday constituted a new two-member bench to hear PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz’s petition seeking her removal from the Exit Control List (ECL). 

The new bench constituted by the LHC will be presided over by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi. Justice Tariq Saleem Shaikh will be the other member of the bench. The two will hear Maryam’s petition on February 10.

Previously, a two-member bench headed by Justice Tariq Abbasi had been hearing the petition.

On December 21, 2019, Maryam had filed a petition in the LHC in a bid to have her name removed from the no-fly list. 

The petition was the PML-N leader’s second attempt to have her name struck off the travel restrictions list. 

In a petition filed earlier in December, Maryam had expressed concern for her father Nawaz Sharif’s health. Furthermore, she had requested the court to allow her to travel abroad so she could take care of him.

Read also: LHC to hear Maryam’s petition for removal of name from ECL

Subsequently, the high court had asked the government to make a final decision about removing Maryam’s name from the ECL within the next seven days.

The federal cabinet had on December 24 decided against allowing Maryam permission to fly abroad.

In a hearing on January 15, the LHC had asked the federal government to explain in writing why it took more than seven days to take a final decision. In a subsequent hearing on January 21, the judge had questioned the reasoning behind Maryam’s insistence for travelling abroad.

Maryam’s counsel had informed the court that Nawaz was severely ill and that she needed to be with him. The court had later accepted her lawyer’s plea for more time to prepare the case and adjourned the hearing till February. 

Maryam and her father Nawaz were placed on the ECL in 2018 following their conviction in the Avenfield reference.

It is pertinent to mention that on November 4, the LHC had granted bail to Maryam in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

‘Maryam will not be allowed to leave’

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had on Friday rejected PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s complaint that party supremo Nawaz Sharif’s medical procedures were being delayed due to the government’s refusal to let Maryam travel. 

Shehbaz in a series of tweets had said the schedule for Nawaz’ Sharif’s medical procedures had been changed twice owing to the absence of his daughter.

Rashid had said the federal cabinet would not allow Maryam to go abroad.

Read also: Medical board rejects Nawaz’s health reports, says they are ‘incomplete’

Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, he noted that Nawaz Sharif’s two sons and a daughter were already in London. 

“I believe the federal cabinet will not allow Maryam Nawaz to [also] go abroad,” he said.

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