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Removal of Murad, Bilawal From ECL: Cabinet to Take Final Decision Today

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet meeting will be held on Thursday (tomorrow) to consider Supreme Court verdict to remove Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and Bilawal Bhutto names from Exit Control List.

The federal cabinet will meet tomorrow in the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Earlier, In the cabinet meeting, the final decision was not taken on the matter as written judgment from the Supreme Court was not released at the time.

The cabinet in the meeting had also formed a review committee to put names on the ECL.

It is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court in his detailed verdict today had directed the federal government to remove the names of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the exit control list (ECL) for the time being.

In a 24-page detailed verdict penned by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan in fake banks accounts case, the Supreme Court has clarified that the exclusion of Bilawal and Shah from the ECL would not prevent the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe their cases further and in case sufficient material is found connecting them with cognizable offence, their names can be placed again on the ECL.

“As far as the recommendations to Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman, PP and Mr Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister, Sindh are concerned, the learned counsel for the JIT has frankly conceded that the material against the said persons may need re-examination to arrive at the correct conclusions,” the judgement reads.

“Further their names may have been included in the list of persons who have been recommended to be placed on ECL, without careful examination of the material available on record and the ramifications and consequences of such orders for the said persons,” it said.

The apex court said that placing the names of Sindh chief minister on ECL would cause serious problems in performing an official duty.

“In this regard, it has been pointed out that Mr Murad Ali Shah is the Chief Minister, Sindh. It would cause serious problems in the performance of his official functions in case his name is placed on the ECL and his movements are restricted. We accordingly direct the names of the said persons for the time being be removed from the ECL.”

The court was the view that a case for referring the report of the JIT, along with relevant documents, evidence, statements and the recommendations of the JIT   be handed to NAB for initiating proceedings under the NAB Ordinance 1999.