Supreme Court dismisses Rao Anwar’s petition for removal of name from ECL

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by suspended senior officer of Sindh Police Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan for removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar rejected Anwar’s petition which sought removal of his name from the no-fly list so that he could travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

SSP Rao Anwar, who made headlines in the media after he was declared a prime suspect in the murder case of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud from South Waziristan early last year, had approached the Supreme Court in December seeking removal of his name from the ECL.

The suspended officer had stated in his petition that he intended to travel abroad to perform Umrah and to meet his children. He had requested the apex court to order the trial court to regulate his movement abroad after removing his name from the ECL, contending that placing an accused on the ECL and curtaining their liberty was beyond the requirement of reasonable restrictions.

The petition had further argued that registration of a case against the accused was not a valid reason for placing their name on the ECL, as freedom of movement was a fundamental right.

Expressing his displeasure at how Anwar has been ‘facilitated’ over the past year, Chief Justice Nisar remarked that the former SSP’s passport should be confiscated.

“Rao Anwar is talking about travelling abroad. His passport should be confiscated. Tell his family to come here and meet him,” the top judge remarked to the SSP’s counsel.

“He must be wanting to transfer money abroad that he earned here,” the chief justice observed.

Former SSP Malir Rao Anwar along with 11 of his subordinates is facing trial before an anti-terrorism court for allegedly killing Mehsud, a shopkeeper and aspiring model from South Waziristan, and three others in an alleged staged encounter on January 13, 2018 in Malir.

Another case was registered against Anwar for possession of explosives and illegal weapons.