Supreme Court suspended arrest warrants against Ayyan Ali

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently suspended the operation of arrest warrants against Ayyan Ali, supermodel, in customs inspector’s murder case. The top court has also issued notices to Secretary Interior, SHO Police Station Waris Khan, Rawalpindi and other officials in this regard. Only a day ago, the magistrate of a local court in Rawalpindi had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for model Ayyan Ali in connection with the murder case of Ejaz Chaudhry, customs inspector. However, a two-judge bench of the top court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, then heard the application filed by supermodel Ayyan Ali on Friday morning and took up the matter on the same day. Ali had filed an appeal under Order XXIII Rule (1) and (6) of the Supreme Court Rules 1980 through her counsel, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khosa, against the arrest warrants.

Through her appeal, she had requested the court to suspend the arrest warrant issued against her. She also made Secretary Interior, Arif Ahmed Khan; SHO, Waris Shah Police Station, Manzar Abbassi, and the Judicial Magistrate, Gulfam Latif Butt as respondents. During the course of hearing Khosa also informed the bench that the apex court had previously ordered for removal of his client’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) on three occasions, however, the government continued to violate the court’s orders through different tactics.

He also argued that the intentions of the government did not seem favorable to his client, further adding that when the government could not find any other reason to bar his client from going abroad, it had managed to maneuver the present situation and procure her arrest warrant through Magistrate in the murder case of Customs Inspector Ejaj Mahmood. He also said that the government would arrest Ali if the instant arrest warrant is not suspended immediately, further adding that his client was in jail at the time Mahmood was murdered. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, in turn, observed that the court cannot give decision without hearing to the respondents.

On this occasion, Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar, who was also present in the courtroom, stood and submitted as to if the court wants to suspend the operation of the instant arrest warrant then he can receive the notice today and commence his arguments. Khosa then submitted that he does not care about his client but merely wants to restore the supremacy of law. “You say that you don’t care for your client, had your client present in the courtroom, she would have gone unconscious,” replied Justice Gulzar Ahmed, another member of the bench. The top court then adjourned the hearing until 26 July.

Mehmood, who would have been a key witness in alleged money laundering case against Ali, was shot dead at his residence on June 2, 2015. Mahmood was the same custom inspector who had recovered some 506,800 dollars from Ali at the airport in March 2015. It is also pertinent to mention here that on June 27, Mehmood’s widow, Saima Ejaz, had approached the Supreme Court, asking to become a party in the main criminal appeal against the supermodel. Mrs Ejaz had prayed that the apex court does not remove Ali’s name from Exit Control List until the decision of customs inspector’s murder case, wherein she is nominated.

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