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IHC rules that persons abroad cannot be placed on Exit Control List

IHC rules that persons abroad cannot be placed on Exit Control List

Our firm successfully represented a foreign resident before the Islamabad High Court in a petition challenging the placement of his name on the Exit Control List (ECL) in Pakistan. After our client had travelled abroad, his name was placed on the ECL. Subsequently, our client was also declared an absconder by the trial court in which his case was pending.

However, the Islamabad High Court, while dilating upon Section 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981 (“Ordinance”) has held that a person who is abroad cannot be placed on ECL as for placement of one’s name on the ECL the basic requirement is for the person to be present in Pakistan. Further, the Islamabad High Court also emphasized that no citizen can be prevented from returning to Pakistan which would be in contravention of Article 15 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973. This is a landmark judgment as it interprets Section 2 of the Ordinance which was widely debated in Courts but on which there was no prior authoritative ruling.

MTC’s team in this matter was led by Talha Javed, Senior Associate.