Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday deferred the hearing in a petition of former religious minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control (ECL).

The hearing in this matter was adjourned due to non-availability of the bench as Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was on leave on medical grounds.

Earlier, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Siddiqui had issued notices to secretary Ministry of Interior and directed the Ministry to depute an officer of joint secretary level to assist the court in this matter.

In his petition, Hamid Saeed Kazmi questioned that if Dr Asim and Ayyan Ali could be permitted to proceed abroad then why cannot he? The former federal minister was acquitted from corruption charges by an IHC  bench in March this year and in April FIA challenged his acquittal before the Supreme Court. Besides performing Haj and delivering lectures, the petitioner Kazmi needs to proceed abroad for medical treatment like his other fellow politicians.

He, in his petition, referred to the cases of Dr Asim and model girl Ayyan Ali who were allowed to proceed abroad by the superior courts of the country. In his petition through Rai Mudassir Iqbal advocate, Kazmi mentioned freezing of his assets in the form of properties and bank accounts but in the prayer he just sought relief to the extent of deleting his name from ECL.

Kazmi nominated federation of Pakistan through secretary Interior, Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and state as respondents.

The former minister adopted that he was falsely implicated for irregularities in Haj operations in 2010 and a special judge central convicted him on June 3, 2016. Against the judgment petitioner filed an appeal at IHC that was allowed on March 8, 2017 acquitting the petitioner of all charges framed against him in trial.

The petitioner agued in the petition that FIA authorities during investigation of this case had directed revenue authorities to hold in abeyance the transfer of property of the petitioner prohibiting him from sale/purchase or disposal of the property.

Kazmi contended that this order by the FIA was passed without lawful authority and without assent of a court of law. FIA authorities also froze petitioner’s Pak rupee and foreign currency bank accounts in Islamabad and Multan. Furthermore the name of the petitioner was also placed at ECL.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents to remove his name from the ECL.