The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered the removal of former president Pervez Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), allowing him to travel abroad for medical treatment.
According to informed sources, the former military strongman is expected to leave for Dubai in a few days.
Earlier on Wednesday, a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali, while hearing a pending federal government appeal against a 2014 Sindh High Court order removing Musharraf’s name from the ECL, upheld the ruling of the provincial high court.
The government’s appeal was rushed through by the government on June 14, 2014 on the apprehension that once Musharraf left the country, he may not return to stand trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.
On June 23, 2014, the apex court had suspended the SHC judgment until it decided the pending appeal, and also formulated a set of questions to determine whether Musharraf could be allowed to leave Pakistan.
The apex court had, in an earlier verdict on April 8, 2013, ordered the government to place Musharraf’s name on the ECL and ensure that he did not leave Pakistan until the court order was varied or modified.
The five-member bench on Wednesday gave the order after hearing the arguments of Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt, the petitioner representing the federal government, and Barrister Farogh Nasim, Musharraf’s counsel.
“For reasons recorded separately, the [federal government’s] appeal has been dismissed,” the order said.
However, the order will not preclude the federal government and special court’s proceedings against him under Article 6 from passing any appropriate legal order for regulating his custody or movement, it said.
Musharraf, who is facing a treason trial for clamping emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007, has been ordered by a three-judge special court seized to record his statement on March 31.
The bench also disposed off Musharraf’s application seeking one-time permission to proceed abroad for the treatment of a spinal ailment that has afflicted him for some time now on the grounds that the petition was now infructuous.