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SC declines NAB plea to place Shahbaz Sharif on ECL

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday has declined a plea filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking to place PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

A two-member bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the plea challenging the Lahore High Court decision to remove Shahbaz’s name from the list.

“The suspect is under judicial custody,” observed Justice Alam.

When Justice Akhtar questioned NAB prosecutor Jahanzaib Bharwana if he had read the seven-bench decision in Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s case four days ago, the latter responded in negative. “If you had read it, you wouldn’t file this appeal,” noted the judge.

Justice Akhtar noted that NAB’s move to restrict Shahbaz’s travels was unnecessary at the time when the case was being heard by the LHC. To which, the NAB prosecutor said the investigation has progressed since then.

Justice Alam observed that the apex court was bound to review the circumstances when the high court removed the PML-N chief’s name from the no-fly list.

NAB counsel said the authority wanted to place Shahbaz on ECL in assets beyond means case. “His name surfaced in suspicious transactions,” he alleged. “He is also involved in money laundering.”

Bharwana informed the bench that many times suspects leave the country if their names are not placed on the ECL. “Six suspects have already fled the country in different cases.”

Justice Akhtar observed that the apex court has already outlined anti-money laundering laws in Justice Isa judgment. “Why don’t you read the judgment before coming to court?”

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