ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court will have to determine four questions before final ruling about removing or maintaining former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf's name on exit control list (ECL).

A five-judge bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, on June 23 accepted the federal government's appeal against the Sindh High Court's order dated June 12 to remove Musharraf's name from ECL and adjourned the hearing for four weeks, subject to the availability of the bench.

Four-page written order issued on Tuesday stated that the apex court had granted leave to the federal government's plea to consider four questions.

Firstly, whether the apex court's April 8, 2013 order was not an interim that merged into its June 3, 2013 final order but an independent and final as regards the restriction on Musharraf travel abroad, and thus the principle of merger was not attracted.

Whether the high court could have struck down the Office Memorandum of 5.4.2013, issued expressly in compliance with the order of the SHC dated 29.3.2013 duly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court on April 8, 2013.

Thirdly, whether without modification or reversal of SC's April 8, 2013 order Musharraf can be permitted to leave the country.

Whether the said Memorandum having been passed in compliance with the order of the high court was not covered by clause (f) of Rule 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules 2010, says the fourth question.

The Sindh High Court on June 12 allowed Musharraf's plea and struck down office memorandum dated April 5, 2013 on the ground that the top court's April 4 order had merged into final order dated July 3, 2013, wherein all four petitions were disposed of but no order was made to place Musharraf's name on ECL and secondly, April 4, 2013 memorandum had not mentioned any of the grounds enumerated in rule 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules 2010 on which the federal government is empowered to prevent any person from leaving the country.

Presently besides high treason case under Article 6 of the Constitution, the former dictator is facing four criminal cases including Benazir's murder, Bugti's killing, Lal Masjid operation and detention of judges.

In high treason case prior to the filing of the government's complaint, four petitions were filed before the Supreme Court wherein the petitioners had prayed for a direction to the federal government to prosecute the respondent (Musharraf) under the high treason Act 1973.

During the pendency of the case, the court on April 8, 2013 directed the secretary interior to make sure regarding the placing of Musharraf's name on ECL.

On the date when the said order was passed, the name of Musharraf had already been placed on ECL on April 5, 2013 in pursuant to SHC's March 29, 2013 order, wherein it was directed that Musharraf will not leave the country without permission of the trail court. Later on a division bench of SHC declined to exclude his name from ECL.

Musharraf again challenged the federal government's April 5, 2013 order placing him on ECL as well as April 2, 2014 rejecting his application from withdrawing the earlier order.