The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the federal government to ensure that people on the Exit Control List (ECL) do not travel abroad without permission from the Interior Ministry.

According to details, Supreme Court has resumed the hearing on a suo motu notice on the perceived apprehension of "persons in authority" undermining the criminal justice system.

During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan inquired that did the cabinet approve amendments in the ECL rules on this, AGP Ausaf maintained that the matter is under review under a Cabinet committee for legislation.

CJP Bandial remarked that the accused who wants to travel abroad for official work should get permission from the interior ministry. Let the system work. Everyone has to work together, the top judge added.

He went on to say that the one-sided legislation should also be in line with legal requirements.

"It s not an opportunity for anyone to take advantage. We will keep an eye that no institution exceeds their authority," CJP Bandial clarified, adding that no such order will be passed that causes inconvenience to the government.

Meanwhile, Justice Ahsan asked why the government was in a hurry to remove names from the list. "What was the matter that the cabinet removed names within two days?"

The AAG replied that the names of cabinet members were on the list. "In the past too, names have been removed from the ECL in this way," he reasoned.

"Is this the government s response ... that it has happened now because it did in the past?" Justice Naqvi asked.

Subsequently, Justice Bandial remarked that authorities took advantage (of the situation) by making amendments to the rules. "If someone thinks that a case is not powerful, they should consult the courts. But the cabinet seems to have completely abolished the ECL," he added.

During the hearing, the apex court appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for acquiring the bail in Rs16 billion money-laundering case while appearing before the court in personal capacity, and said that it will examine the order granting the bail.