Friday, December 01, 2023

IHC orders removal of Shireen Mazari's name from passport control list

Former PTI stalwart's name was placed on the PCL weeks after May 9 riots

Former leader of PTI Shireen Mazari leaving Election Commission office in Islamabad. — Online.
Former leader of PTI Shireen Mazari leaving Election Commission office in Islamabad. — Online.
  • IHC declares placement of ex-federal minister's name on PCL illegal.
  • Orders authorities to remove Mazari's name from PCL within a week.
  • Seeks compliance report from Islamabad Immigration & Passport DG. 

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday ordered authorities concerned to remove the name of former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari from the Passport Control List (PCL), which regulates the departure from and entry into the country.

The ex-PTI stalwart's name was put on the PCL on the recommendation of the Islamabad police on May 26, just days after she renounced her membership of the party in condemnation of the May 9 riots.

Several PTI bigwigs, including Mazari, were arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance following the violence that ensued after former prime minister Imran Khan's arrest in a graft case.

The court issued the verdict on Mazari's plea filed through her counsel

Advocate Barrister Ahsan Jamal Pirzada declared the placement of the former federal minister's name in the PCL illegal.

"[...] instant writ petition is allowed, placing of name of the petitioner on PCL is declared to be unjustified illegal, without lawful authority and of no legal effect," a short order issued by the IHC stated.

While ordering the removal of Mazari's name from the PCL within a week, the court also directed the Islamabad Immigration and Passport director general to submit a compliance report before the judicial deputy registrar of the high court.

IHC's Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri passed the orders while accepting Mazari's plea that contended that placing her name on the PCL to restrain her movement is not only unwarranted and unlawful, but also "discriminatory and violative of the provisions of the Constitution".

The verdict on the petition was reserved last month after the completion of arguments by the parties in the case.

The petition stated that Mazari was neither issued any show-cause notice nor she was informed about the placement of her name on the PCL by the authorities concerned.

"Main purpose of enactment of Passport Rules, 2021, is that the persons who are involved in terrorist/anti-state activities etc. in order to avoid arrest, try to flee abroad, should not be allowed to leave the country, so that law enforcing agencies arrest and produce them before the courts of law to face the trial but in the instant case no such reason is extended by respondents as admittedly the petitioner in not involved in such likes cases; neither declared proclaimed offender nor became fugitive from law, rather was arrested, sent behind bars, released after obtaining bail after arrest and is now facing trial in all the cases," it read.

It further assured the court that the petitioner was cooperating in the court proceedings in all the cases registered against her.