The Supreme Court has dismissed model Ayyan Ali’s contempt of court petition against the government for not removing her name from the exit control list (ECL) despite the court’s April 13 order.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan held that the court had already issued a verdict on the matter. He said the petitioner should approach the Sindh High Court for contempt of court proceedings, as the original ruling on the petition was issued by the high court and the apex court had upheld its decision of removing Ayyan’s name from ECL.
Sardar Latif Khosa, the model’s counsel called government actions ‘malafide’, arguing that Ayyan’s name was removed from the ECL and then re-inserted hours later based on an application by the Federal Board of Revenue, which had already been suspended by the SHC.
The model faces up to $10 million in penalties if she misses her international assignments, which are due in June, he added.
The contempt petition moved by the model named Interior Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan, Additional Secretary of ECL Mohammad Asghar Chaudhry and Additional Director of FIA Jinnah International Airport Shahid Hayat as respondents.
“The respondents having obstructed, ridiculed, violated, defied have eroded the categorical mandate issued by the Supreme Court and the high court,” the petition argued.
Earlier on April 13, the apex court had upheld the Sindh High Court’s March 7 verdict of removing her name from the ECL with an observation that the apprehension that removal of the model’s name from the ECL would amount to letting her off for good was misconceived.
The model was arrested in March 2015 on the charges of money laundering after customs officials recovered $506,000 from her luggage at Benazir Bhutto International Airport when she was going to Dubai. In July last year, she was granted bail after spending around four months in the Adiala Jail. In March this year, the Sindh High Court directed to remove Ayyan’s name from the ECL. Though the model got her passport back, her name has not been removed from the ECL so far.