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Karachi

December 2, 2016

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SHC CJ to appoint referee judge for Ayyan’s travel ban plea

SHC CJ to appoint referee judge for Ayyan’s travel ban plea

The Sindh High Court on Thursday issued a split judgment on a petition filed by model Ayyan Ali against the federal government’s decision to include her name again on the Exit Control List (ECL), an act she contends is in violation of a previous court order allowing her to travel abroad.

With the division bench, comprising Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh and Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, having issued a split judgment on the petition, the matter has now been referred to the SHC chief justice who will appoint a referee judge to decide the petition.

Of the two judges on yesterday’s bench, Justice Sheikh dismissed the petition on the basis that it was not maintainable on grounds of jurisdiction, while Justice Agha allowed the model’s request and directed the interior ministry to her name from the ECL.

Ayyan Ali had challenged the third memorandum by the ministry of interior regarding inclusion of her name on the ECL. Her counsels, Latif Khoso and Qadir Khan Mandokhel, submitted that the petitioner had once again restrained from travel by federal investigation authorities, despite her name having been deleted from the ECL.

Her counsels submitted that interior ministry officials, including secretary interior, had given an undertaking before the court that there was no legal impediment for Ayyan travelling abroad, and were now guilty of committing gross violation of court directives.

Ayyan’s lawyers told the bench that the third memorandum for placing her name on the ECL was based on total perversity, as she was neither named in the FIR nor had the Lahore High Court issued any directives for barring her travel freedom.

In its comments, the interior ministry submitted that Ayyan was stopped at the airport because her name was on the ECL. The ministry’s representative submitted that the Punjab government had recommended that Ayyan’s name be placed on the ECL in connection with the murder case of customs officer Ejaz.

He submitted that the wife of the deceased customs officer suspected Ayyan’s involvement in her spouse’s murder, as he was the investigation officer in the currency smuggling case against the model.  Ayyan Ali, now on bail, was facing a trial for trying to smuggle $5,06,800 after being caught in the act at Islamabad airport on March 14 last year.

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