ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition seeking the inclusion of Aasiya Bibi’s name to the Exit Control List (ECL), stating that no confined person could be placed on the list and Aasiya’s appeal against capital punishment was pending before the Supreme Court (SC) for a final decision.
Earlier in October, the top court had reserved its verdict against the concurrent decision of awarding capital punishment to Aasiya, whereas Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, in a short order, had said that media must refrain from commenting over the case till pronouncement of the final verdict.
Soon after SC reserved the verdict, former spokesperson of Shodha Foundation of Pakistan, Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmed, had invoked the IHC jurisdiction for placing Aasiya’s name on the ECL, however, a single-member bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani had dismissed the plea stating “when a person is already confined in jail, his or her name cannot be placed on ECL”.
“Similarly when the matter is pending before the SC, any order passed by any other court amounts to interfering in the proceedings of the apex court and no writ could be issued at this stage, the instant writ petition is misconceived and the same is hereby dismissed. However, the petitioner may approach the apex court for redressal of his grievances, if so advised,” read Justice Kiyani’s order.
Challenging the decision before the IHC through an intra-court appeal, Hafiz Malik Mazhar Javed, counsel for the petitioner, requested the court for setting aside the one-member judge decision.
The petitioner also sought the court’s directives for federal interior secretary, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general and Punjab chief secretary to ensure that Aasiya is not permitted to travel abroad until the final decision of the SC is out.
After a brief hearing on Monday, a division bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb also dismissed the intra-court appeal.