ISLAMABAD: Supermodel Ayyan Ali who is facing money laundering charges pleaded before the Supreme Court on Thursday that she desperately needed to go abroad to fulfil her professional obligations and to see her ailing mother in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a rejoinder to a petition moved by the Collectorate of Customs, Islamabad, challenging the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) March 7 verdict calling for removal of her name from the Exit Control List (ECL), Ayyan said that she would have to endure a colossal financial loss if she failed to fulfil her contractual obligations.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan will resume on Friday the hearing of the case in which Customs authorities had expressed apprehensions that the model, who was detained while allegedly attempting to smuggle nearly half a million dollars out of the country last year, might leave the country to escape pending proceedings against her.
In its petition the Customs department had alleged that the model was arrested on March 14, 2014, from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, while going abroad with a valid visa, passport and air ticket carrying foreign currency worth $506,800 without prior permission of the State Bank of Pakistan and without any lawful excuse why she was taking the money abroad.
On March 17, the Supreme Court bench had suspended the SHC’s verdict with a direction to Ayyan’s counsel Sardar Latif Khosa to submit a concise statement against the petition.
In her reply, the model stated that she had been receiving notices from her manager who took care of her international contracts, asking her to fulfil her obligations.
According to the reply, different constitutional rights of the model are being violated. The SHC had rightly adjudged and vindicated grievance by accepting her constitutional petition by holding that mere pendency of criminal cases were no ground for blocking a citizen from travelling, it added.
The model rejected apprehensions that she might abscond and said that her lifetime earnings had been seized by the Customs and that she had submitted huge sureties for her release on bail and for ‘superdari’ of her passport.
She accused Customs of contumaciously defying SHC’s orders and annihilating the rule of law as well as violating the mandate of the Constitution.
She also objected to the filing of the petition by the Collectorate of Customs, saying that the federation of Pakistan had been categorised in Part III Chapter I of the Constitution where the Customs department figures nowhere in the hierarchy stipulated.
Under Article 174 of the Constitution the Collectorate of Customs being a civil servant within the service of Pakistan could not pose itself as the federation of Pakistan, the reply said.
Likewise, the Rule of Business, 1973, devolves responsibility and authority of the federation where under entry and exit into and from Pakistan fall within the domain of interior division and not the Collectorate of Customs.
Moreover, the rule of business enjoins upon the law and justice division to conduct legal proceedings and litigation concerning the federal government and the collector Customs does not even remotely fall within the law division, the reply said.
It said Customs authorities had filed the petition against the SHC judgment in a camouflaged manner, adding that under the relevant rules of the Supreme Court their application to become a party in the case was not within the power and jurisdiction of the SC registrar. Therefore, the petition filed by Customs authorities was not entertainable.
Courtesy : Dawn News