ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court on Thursday withdrew its earlier order of placing the name of corruption accused Murtaza Amjad, son-in-law of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on the Exit Control List.

The top court directed Ministry of Interior not to proceed against Murtaza in view of its earlier order.

Murtaza and his father Dr Muhammad Amjad are accused of corruption and looting public money through their company Eden Housing Limited (EHL). Murtaza had gone to Dubai to visit his wife and children on September 26 when he was detained at Dubai Airport by Dubai police.

On June 3, the SC had ordered for placing the name of Murtaza on the ECL on the complaint of Muhammad Zia Ullah Chaudhry.

The top court withdrew its June 3 order after hearing a review petition moved by Ifrah Murtaza, daughter of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, through Advocate Waqar Rana.

A 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the review petition for hearing. Advocates Hamid Khan and Rana Waqar appeared before the court and stated that NAB had initiated an inquiry against the EHL in January 2018 but both Ifrah and Murtaza had no connection with the alleged transactions.

The counsels argued that the August 3 order of the top court could not be passed under rules of Exit from Pakistan (control) Ordinance 1981 in the absence of legal proceedings pending with the Court and too without any notice to Murtaza and his family members.

The review petition contended that the top court’s earlier order was passed in violation of the principles of natural justice. It was further questioned whether assumption of Article 184 (3)’s jurisdiction in a matter wherein criminal investigation or inquiry having been initiated by NAB amounted to violation of doctrine of separation of power. It stated that the instant proceedings in the top court would prejudice a fair investigation which was one of the facts of fair trial.

The review petition contended that Murtaza remained a director of the EHL from 2007 till 2009. In pursuance of the top court’s June 3 order, NAB and Ministry of Interior had placed Murtaza’s name and names of his family members including a lady on the ECL.

“Red warrants were also issued on the basis of the order,” the petition stated, adding that Murtaza was detained as a result of the issuance of the warrants.

The petitioner contended that the orders of placing the name on ECL were passed without a notice to Murtaza Amjad and without taking into consideration all relevant facts.

“He has not been allowed to see his wife despite several attempts and not even his lawyer. He continues to be in detention in Dubai without any recourse”, the petition stated.

The petition contended that Murtaza’s in-laws, the family of former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary, was being maliciously dragged in to the controversy.

It added that the order of June 3 was in nature of an interlocutory order having been passed in absence of the petitioners and therefore the SC might not apply strict rules or procedure which would be applicable to a normal review petition.

“It is respectfully submitted that true and proper facts were not brought on the record by the complainants,” the petition stated, adding that the order caused grave injustice to the petitioners’ families and the same was liable to be reviewed and reconsidered in the interest of justice.

It contended that the son-in-law and daughter of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary were chased out of Pakistan in the most dishonourable manner.

“Whether the petitioner Murtaza Amjad can be proceeded against despite the fact that he is neither a director nor a shareholder of EHL?” the review petition contended.

It further contended that Murtaza resigned from directorship of EHL way back in 2009 and that he was wrongly implicated into the inquiry by NAB and instant proceedings by the applicant Zia Ullah Chaudhry.

The petition further prayed that NAB might be restrained from harassment of the petitioner and misuse of their discretionary powers.