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IHC to Hear Nawaz Sharif’s Bail Application on Medical Grounds, Plea for Suspending Sentence in Al-Azizia Reference Tomorrow

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ISLAMABAD: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court will take up a plea filed by former premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday (tomorrow), seeking two remedies including suspension of his sentence in Al-Azizia reference and bail on medical grounds.

Nawaz has requested the court for remedies in the matter, as a bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will hear fresh petition which his counsel, Khawaja Haris, has filed second time.

Seeking the remedies, Nawaz has made the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, judge Accountability Court (AC)-II Islamabad and Kot Lakhpat jail superintendent as respondents.

Nawaz submitted that the AC had convicted him in reference No 19/2017 under Section 10 of NAO, 1999 for a term of seven years along with fine of Rs1.5 billion. He further said that against the aforesaid conviction and sentence, the petitioner had filed an appeal before this court and the same was fixed for June 19, awaiting preparation of paper books of the trial proceedings.

 “During the pendency of the Criminal Appeal No 1/2019, the petitioner had initially applied for the suspension of his sentence and bail by filing writ petition No 32/2019 on 15-1-2019. However, later on January 26, 2019, he filed another writ petition No 352-B/2019 for the suspension of his sentence and his release on bail on medical grounds and thereafter, on February 6, 2019, applied for withdrawal of his earlier petition No 32/2019 pursuant to which prayer for withdrawal was allowed on February 12, 2019.”

According to the petition, subsequent to the release of the petitioner on bail in pursuance of the Supreme Court order of March 26, 2019, he underwent multiple medical tests to ascertain the exact and precise extent and pervasiveness of the maladies from which he was suffering as necessitated before commencement of treatment.

After the medical tests of Nawaz, it transpired that his health had considerably “deteriorated” since his last medical check-up by the special medical boards constituted by the Punjab government and, accordingly, the treatment required for the petitioner was also much more complicated and extensive, and it was at the time when the aforementioned special medical boards had examined.

In order to substantiate his claim, Haris, while submitting the medical reports of Nawaz, said his client’s life was under threat owing to his fast-deteriorating health, adding that his treatment was impossible inside prison according to the doctor’s advice.

The counsel for Nawaz, while citing doctors’ advice, said that his client’s condition was is quite critical, as he was suffering from numerous diseases that could prove to be threatening to his life.

Besides, the counsel has also attached the recommendations of the specialist doctors hailing from the United Kingdom and the United States with the plea.

The petition read Nawaz was facing serious threat owing to his worsening health and the treatment was not possible in the prison, as he intended to get himself treated from the same doctors who treated him in the past abroad.

The petitioner maintained that the political opponents were indulging in propaganda that the petitioner, in seeking bail on medical grounds for his treatment abroad, was actually seeking a “NRO”, which was tantamount to contempt of court.

The petition termed the propaganda as malicious and false by politicians and TV anchors, saying the same stood comprehensively refuted by the past conduct of the petitioner.

Therefore, Nawaz prayed to the court to suspend the sentence awarded to him by the accountability court judge and to release him on bail pending final decision of his appeal against the said conviction and sentence, on such terms and conditions as are deemed to be just and fair in the facts and circumstances mentioned in the instant petition.


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Naya Daur