The Supreme Court dismissed on Tuesday the appeal of the National Accountability Bureau to place on Exit Control List the name of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif.
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, presided over the hearing of the petition against the Lahore High Court’s decision to remove Sharif’s name from the no-fly list in the assets beyond means case.
NAB Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana said Sharif committed corruption due to suspicious transactions. “NAB is also empowered under anti-money laundering law. Many accused escape at the inquiry level. Six are absconding in the reference,” he further said.
Bharwana added the PML-N president’s name was removed from the ECL on the orders of the LHC, but now much progress has been made in the case. To this, Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that the travel ban on Shehbaz Sharif was unnecessary at the time of the high court’s orders.
“The court [SC] has interpreted anti-money laundering laws,” the judge said referring to Justice Qazi Faiz Isa’s case. “Suspicious transactions do no come under corruption. NAB did not even bother to read the verdict of Justice Isa’s case.”
“It is known that the accountability court has jurisdiction, but NAB included Shehbaz Sharif’s name in the ECL during the inquiry,” the top court remarked. “Did Shehbaz Sharif escape after his name was removed from the ECL? Shehbaz Sharif is not a person whom no one knows and would flee.”
Dismissing the appeal, the apex court said that the NAB prosecutor could not identify the culprit in the high court’s decision.
On October 9, the federal cabinet granted approval for including the names of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, his family members, and several other accused standing trial in NAB reference of money laundering involving a sum of over Rs7 billion on the ECL.