SC directs to remove Bilawal, Murad from ECL for time being, orders NAB to probe fake bank accounts

SC directs to remove Bilawal, Murad from ECL for time being, orders NAB to probe fake bank accounts

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case and ordered the authorities to remove the names of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the Exit Control List (ECL) for the time being.

The top court, in its 25-page written judgment Wednesday, also clarified that NAB would not be prevented from probing the case against the two PPP leaders further and in case sufficient material was found connected to them with cognizable offences, "it shall not be precluded from making an appropriate request to the federal government to place their names on ECL."

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar in the order noted that putting Murad Ali Shah's name on the ECL would create problems in performing of his official functions as chief minister.

The court also observed that as far as the recommendations of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) related to Bilawal and Murad were concerned, the JIT's counsel himself conceded that the material against the said persons might need re-examination to arrive at the correct conclusion.

The judgment stated,"All cases, which have not been concluded or in the opinion of the JIT required further probe, shall remain within the jurisdiction of the JIT which shall continue it probe and investigation under the mandate granted by the apex court."

The court directed the JIT to complete the investigation with in reasonable time where after its report together with all material and evidence would be transmitted to NAB without the need for any further court order for action in accordance with law.

The SC ordered NAB to investigate the case in light of a report recently submitted by the JIT probing the matter, and to complete its investigation within two months.

The bench mandated the National Accountability Bureau to summon whoever it wished, and instructed the JIT to continue its own probe meanwhile.

The court also ordered that the names of Anwar Mansoor Khan's brother and Farooq H Naek and his family be removed from the JIT report and from the ECL as well but directed NAB to continue investigation against them.