Decision to grant Nawaz bail depends on doctors’ advice: IHC

ISLAMABAD: The decision to whether or not grant bail to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds will depend on the report of his doctors, said the Islamabad High Court.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, during the hearing of a petition seeking release of Mr Sharif on medical grounds, observed that further hearing in the case was linked to the petitioner’s medical report.

Justice Farooq remarked that the doctors would inform the court about the actual position of Mr Sharif’s health.

Justice Kayani said that “they [doctors] are the best judge in this case as they would report the condition of Mr Sharif”.

Assistant Inspector General (legal) Dr Qadeer Alam, representing the Punjab home secretary, informed the court that the report would be soon ready.

The court directed him to submit the report by Wednesday and adjourned the hearing.

Court orders Punjab govt to submit former premier’s latest medical report tomorrow

During the course of hearing, Khawaja Haris Ahmed, lead defence counsel for the former prime minister, argued that the case of Mr Sharif fell in the category of hardship cases since he was suffering from life-threatening diseases. According to the counsel, Mr Sharif was suffering from diseases related to kidney, hypertension and diabetes, besides cardiac problems.

The right to life, which was a fundamental right of the petitioner, was being compromised due to his imprisonment, Mr Haris said, adding that “this is also a reason to establish hardship in his case”.

Justice Kayani asked whether Mr Sharif was getting medical treatment in the hospital.

The additional prosecutor general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Jahanzeb Bharwana, informed the court that the doctors had not yet started Mr Sharif’s treatment.

Mr Haris said that the jail administration had shifted Mr Sharif to the Jinnah Hospital which did not have an independent cardiac centre, adding that such facility was available in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC). He said another report of the doctors, who had examined Mr Sharif in the Jinnah Hospital, was still awaited.

The court said it would wait for the said report before moving forward and directed Dr Alam to make a call to the relevant authorities to get information about the report. Dr Alam went outside the courtroom and returned after a couple of minutes and informed the court that the doctors were being contacted to get the relevant information. Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday, with a directive for Dr Alam to submit the report before the start of the hearing.

Meanwhile, the IHC bench also took up NAB’s appeal against the acquittal of Mr Sharif in the Flagship reference, and adjourned the hearing till April 2.

The court also adjourned till April 9 the hearing on an appeal filed by Mr Sharif seeking to set aside his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference, and NAB’s appeal to enhance the sentence from seven years to 14 years.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2019

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