ISLAMABAD   -   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday turned down the National Accountability Bureau’s appeal to place PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam conducted the hearing of NAB petition against the Lahore High Court’s decision to remove Shehbaz’s name from the no-fly list in the assets beyond means case.

NAB Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana prayed to the court that Shehbaz committed corruption through suspicious transactions. He added that many accused had escaped at inquiry level and six are absconding in different references.

Bharwana added that the PML-N president’s name was removed from the ECL on the orders of the LHC, but now much progress has been made in the case.

At this, Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that the travel ban on Shehbaz Sharif was unnecessary when the case was being heard by the LHC.

When Justice Akhtar questioned NAB prosecutor Jahanzaib Bharwana if he had read the decision in Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s case, the latter responded in negative. “If you had read it, you would not file this appeal,” noted the judge.

Referring to Justice Faez Isa’s case, the judge said that the court [SC] has interpreted anti-money laundering laws. The top court of the country observed that it is known that the accountability court has jurisdiction but NAB included Shehbaz Sharif’s name in the ECL during the inquiry.

Dismissing the NAB’s appeal, the apex court said that the NAB prosecutor could not identify the culprit in the high court’s decision.

It was October 9 when the federal cabinet had granted approval for including the names of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, his family members and several other accused facing trial in the NAB reference of money laundering involving a sum of over Rs7 billion on the ECL.