NAB moves SC against Shehbaz’s removal from ECL

There are chances that he (Shehbaz) will make himself conceal, go underground or become unavailable to the investigation agency

ISLAMABAD  -    The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday moved Supreme Court challenging the Lahore High Court’s March 26 order for removing PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List.

NAB in its appeal stated that Sharif has been trying to frustrate and hamper the investigation proceedings.

“There are chances that he will make himself conceal or going underground or become unavailable to the investigation agency.”

The appeal further stated that the observations given by the LHC are not any plausible reasons and even to highlight any act of the NAB which shows that the right of Shahbaz Sharif has been infringed.

The appeal named Sharif, Ministry of Interior and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as respondents.

Moreover, co-accused of the case who have aided and abetted the accused in commission of offence have also been left the country in 2018, the appeal maintained.

Furthermore, it added, co-accused Mushtaq Ahmed whose account has been used by the accused persons including Sharif and his family members for saving fake remittances has been arrested from the airport when he was trying to abscond to UAE.

These facts clearly established that there are strong chances that Sharif will become absconding so LHC order is liable to be set aside, the appeal contended.

Regarding the jurisdiction and maintainability of the writ petition in the LHC, the appeal stated that the LHC was erroneous in entertaining the constitutional petition in the presence of a statutory remedy available to Sharif under the provisions of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981.

It is pertinent to mention here that the LHC was denuded of jurisdiction under the Constitution in relation to a case where an alternate and adequate remedy was available to Sharif and the jurisdiction of high court will normally be ousted in suchlike cases, the appeal stated.

It added that according to Section 3 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981, any person aggrieved by an order of the federal government by virtue of which a person has been prohibited from proceeding abroad may file a representation to the federal government for review of the said order.

It is a settled principle where law provides a remedy and constitutional jurisdiction is involved without availing of such remedy the petition is not maintainable, the appeal stated, adding arguing that therefore the LHC’s judgment is liable to be set aside.

It is further submitted that LHC has not appreciated the Sharif’s case in its proper perspective which resulted in grave miscarriage of justice.

NAB contended that the judgment of LHC has not been passed after taking into consideration the established principles of interpretation and application of law which has rendered the impugned order illegal and unlawful.

The reasons given for accepting Sharif’s writ petition are whimsical, perverse, fanciful and arbitrary as the order has been passed in hasty manner and without application of independent judicial mind, the appeal contended.

NAB requested the top court to examine and set aside the LHC’s March 26 order of Division Bench.

On October 23 last year, NAB had authorized an inquiry against former Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and his family members on the allegations of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of means.


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