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Court orders removal of woman activist’s name from ECL

Court orders removal of woman activist’s name from ECL

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday ordered the interior ministry to remove the name of woman social activist Sana Ijaz from the Exit Control List and allowed her to travel abroad.

Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ijaz Anwar directed petitioner Sana Ijaz to furnish two surety bonds of Rs5 million each to the satisfaction of the court, which will hear a case registered against several leaders of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).

Sana Ijaz had filed a petition challenging the placement of her name on ECL by the interior ministry.

The petitioner appeared before courts in person due to the strike of lawyers.

Additional advocate general Qaiser Ali Shah contended that the petitioner was charged along with several other PTM activists with delivering a hate speech against government institutions during a public meeting in Swabi.

He said an FIR was registered at Swabi police station on Aug 13 and on the basis of the said case, names of different persons were placed on ECL. The bench directed the state counsel to produce a copy of the FIR.

When the FIR’s copy was produced, the bench asked the AAG why the challan (charge sheet) of the case had not been submitted to the trial court despite the passage of over six months.

The petitioner said she was a social activist and was booked in a concocted case registered against PTM leaders.

She said she had to go abroad to attend a family function on Apr 21 but she couldn’t do so after learning that her name was placed on ECL.

The petitioner said the mere mention of her name in an FIR was not a justification for placing her name on ECL and placing restrictions on her right to free movement guaranteed by the Constitution.

She said a few days ago, the high court had declared illegal the placement of the name of another PTM leader, Dr Said Alam Mehsud, on the ECL.

The petitioner added that Dr Said Alam was named in the same case.

REPORT SOUGHT: A high court bench consisting of Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar Khan sought a report from Peshawar police about the placing of the name of a resident in the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act until Apr 23.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by a Peshawar resident, Malik Irfan, a retired employee of Frontier Constabulary.

The petitioner claimed that his computerised national identity card and pension had been blocked due to the placement of his name in the Fourth Schedule of the ATA.

The bench observed that it would be an injustice to the petitioner if his name was placed in the Fourth Schedule without any cogent reason and even the payment of pension to him was denied.

It decided to hear the case again on Apr 23 asking the SSP to submit a report about the petitioner.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019

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