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Nawaz granted bail on medical grounds for 8 weeks by IHC


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended the sentence of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the al-Azizia corruption reference for eight weeks on medical grounds.
A two-member judge bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had earlier reserved the verdict on the plea seeking the suspension of the former premier’s sentence in the Al-Azizia corruption reference case. The court in the same case had granted him bail on Saturday.
Announcing the verdict, the court granted Sharif bail for eight weeks to get medical treatment. He has been ordered to deposit two bail bonds worth Rs2 million each.
Nawaz Sharif will have to go to jail if he does not contact the Punjab government after eight weeks, the court announced.
Earlier, during the proceedings, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) opposed Nawaz Sharif’s treatment abroad and permanent bail in the case, saying that a bail for specified period can be granted to him. The opinion of doctors is respectable as they are the experts, however, they have not said that ex-PM’s treatment is not possible in Pakistan, the NAB maintained.
Meanwhile, Justice Aamir Farooq said, “We have four options in this case. First, we can grant permanent bail to Nawaz Sharif. Second, we can approve Nawaz’s bail for specified time period.
Third, we can forward his bail plea matter to Punjab government and fourth, we can also dispose of his petition.”
As the hearing resumed in the afternoon today, Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar told the court that Nawaz Sharif is satisfied with the medical treatment at Services Hospital where he was admitted on October 21.
Justice Aamir Farooq remarked that the reason behind summoning Punjab CM is to know about the medical facilities for the prisoners over which, the CM said he has visited eight jails in one year and that all the convicts are being given suitable facilities.
However, after recording the statement, CM Buzdar left the court.
During the hearing Tuesday, Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr. Saleem Shahzad Cheema submitted Nawaz Sharif’s fresh reports, stating that he is suffering from heart and kidney diseases. The former premier’s health condition is still not stable due to fluctuation in his platelets count that must be above one lac to be considered as normal, the report revealed.
Nawaz Sharif’s personal doctor Dr Adnan, while responding to court’s question, said that his patient is being given life-saving medicines whereas the board has also decided to hold his complete body scan to find out the sickness cause. “I am treating Nawaz Sharif from past 20 years and I know his health is critical as he is fighting for life,” he further told the court.
On his turn, MS Dr Saleem informed that the former PM had suffered heart attack when injections and steroids were given to him to raise the count of platelets.
Additional Prosecutor General NAB, Jahanzaib Bharwana, said that the court had decided to suspend the sentence of the former prime minister who will not leave the country within those six weeks. He said that Nawaz will seek treatment from the doctors of his choice during this time.
He informed the court that the federal government had offered Nawaz that any doctor of his choosing could be brought in from abroad to treat him. Bharwana added that no doctor had said that Nawaz couldn’t be treated in Pakistan.
“Does the suspension of the sentence of the convicted fall under federal or Punjab’s [government’s] domain?” asked Justice Aamir Farooq.
He told the court that the suspension of his sentence fell within the domain of both the federal and provincial governments.
Bharwana urged the court to suspend the sentence under a time frame and also review the former prime minister’s health report.
The high court ordered that if Sharif’s condition does not improve in eight weeks, then the Punjab provincial government should be approached for a bail extension. The former prime minister was asked to submit two bail bonds worth Rs2 million.
It is to be mentioned here that IHC had granted interim bail to Nawaz Sharif till today on medical grounds in Al-Azizia reference and directed him to submit two bail bonds worth Rs2 million each.
The decision came after 69-year-old was taken to Services Hospital when his blood platelet count dropped to dangerous levels.
On October 25, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had bailed Nawaz Sharif indefinitely on medical grounds, days after he was taken to Services Hospital from Kot Lakhpat Jail after deterioration of his health.
The ruling had come after doctors confirmed Sharif was suffering from an autoimmune blood disorder requiring immediate medical attention.
The medical board at Lahore’s Services Hospital has conducted examination of under-treatment Nawaz Sharif as his platelets count continues to fluctuate.
Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Dr Mahmood Ayaz Dr Mehmood Ayyaz, in an informal talk to media, said steroids and injections administered to Nawaz to raise platelet count have created more problems for him as his kidneys are being affected.
Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference on 24 December 2018. Rs1.5 billion and US $25 million fine, a disqualification of 10 years from holding any public office was part of the sentences awarded to the former premier. – NNI