KARACHI: Expressing his annoyance over discrimination with poor inmates in prisons, Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh said influential or rich prisoners are hospitalised without approval while underprivileged ones do not even get fever pills for free.
The chief justice made these remarks while hearing bail pleas of former National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president Syed Ali Raza, regional manager Muhammad Wasim Khan, Imran Ghani, Dr Mirza Abrar Baig and Muhammad Imran Butt, a private news channel reported on Tuesday.
Raza and 16 others, including seven Bangladeshi nationals, are facing inquiry over alleged misappropriation of Rs18 billion between 2003 and 2012 at the NBP branch in Dhaka.
Haider Waheed Advocate, the defence counsel stated that a medical board has recommended the intensive care unit (ICU) treatment for suspect Ali Raza due to his serious illness and prayed before the court to approve bail for his client.
To that, the chief justice questioned the formation of a medical board without any judicial approval. “Medical boards are made without courts’ approvals… suspects are sent to jails and prison staff shifts them to hospitals,” he remarked.
“Poor prisoners are deprived of fever pills and on the other hand influential are shifted to hospitals. Those who commit crimes must go to jails,” Justice Shaikh said, adding, “What is the point of having prisons when every criminal becomes innocent after being sentenced? We should rather keep the jail doors open.”
The court later adjourned the hearing after ordering further legal arguments from the defence.