Decision on Sharif’s bail plea on March 26, says apex court
19 Mar 2019
Nawaz Sharif. File
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) said on Tuesday that it will announce its judgement whether or not to grant bail to incarcerated deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds on March 26.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa issued a notice to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit reply in the matter in the next hearing fixed for March 26. The apex court will announce the judgement on the same day, the top judge said.
Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris presented arguments seeking bail, citing medical reports. He said that the three-time premier is taking 17 different medications.
“We know that Sharif receives medical care in London. We want to know whether his health deteriorated in prison,” asked the chief justice.
In order to deliberate whether the court could intervene or not, Justice Khosa directed Haris to read reports from the imprisonment date.
Justice Khosa inquired about a precedent where a convict travelled abroad after getting bail. “Obviously, Sharif has cardiac ailment which cannot be treated in jail. The angiography cannot be performed in a prison.”
Haris said that Sharif suffered from diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and suffered a heart attack in April 2016.
The former premier was convicted by an accountability court in a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s Panama judgement.
He challenged in the apex court a verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which had refused bail to him on medical grounds.
After being convicted by the accountability court, he was shifted to Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore to serve out the seven-year imprisonment sentence.
Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday protested that the Sharif family was not allowed to look after his ailing brother Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore as per their desires.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president took to Twitter early morning and said despite repeated requests, he has been stopped to meet the former prime minister. “My family and I used to meet Sharif two to three times in a week so that we are aware of his medical condition but now our meetings with him have been reduced to Thursdays only.”
The opposition leader said “taking the meeting option away from Sharif’s mother, sister, brother and daughter is totally unfair.”
The ex-premier’s daughter, Maryam, said that even she was waiting for permission to meet her father for the last five days. She also said that her father’s personal physician Dr Adnan has not been allowed to see him.
She said it was totally unfair and unjustified to deny the meetings of her father’s relatives with him as per the prison rules.
She said the government does no favour if the family members meet him according to the law.
She added that all the medical reports prepared by different specialists’ boards have clearly mentioned that the ex-premier is suffering from multiple diseases.
The former prime minister was convicted by an accountability court in a reference filed by NAB as directed by the Supreme Court in its Panama judgement.
Earlier on Monday, Maryam rejected a letter circulating with her name and signatures as fake and said it was the “work of an evil mind.”
In a post on Twitter, she wrote: “Attached is a fake letter circulating with my name and signatures. Some evil mind at work!”
The fake letter shows her seeking US diplomat Paul W Jones’ help, requesting him to use his influence in order to get relief for the former prime minister, who has been suffering from heart disease.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the US embassy has also dubbed the letter as fake.
“In spite of my repeated personal requests to competent authorities, the medical board constituted for this purpose continues to report incorrect facts on my father’s condition, perhaps at the behest of certain power lobbies. This has resulted in the courts being misled and preventing ordering necessary steps to be taken to ensure the life of the former prime minister,” the alleged letter stated.