— CJP Khosa asks NAB to submit complete medical record of former PM so that court can ascertain extent of illness
–Says former premier spent busy life despite these diseases in the past
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday announced that it will announce its verdict on a bail petition filed by incarcerated prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking his release from prison on medical grounds on March 26, after reviewing his medical records.
During Tuesday’s hearing, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure all documents were in place in the next hearing fixed for March 26. The apex court will announce the judgement on the same day, added chief justice.
Defence counsel Khawaja Haris presented arguments in the case, citing Nawaz’s medical reports. He claimed that the three-time premier is taking 17 different medications.
“We know that Nawaz receives medical care in London. We want to know whether his health deteriorated in prison,” asked the chief justice during the hearing of the petition.
In order to deliberate whether the apex court could intervene or not, Justice Khosa directed Khawaja Haris to read reports from imprisonment date.
Justice Khosa inquired about a precedent where a convict travelled abroad after getting bail.
“Obviously, Nawaz has cardiac ailment which cannot be treated in jail. The angiography cannot be performed in a prison,” he said.
He said that five different medical boards were constituted to assess Nawaz’s health which were unanimous in their prognosis that he was suffering from health problems.
Haris said it was the basic right of an inmate to get treatment to his satisfaction.
Quoting from the ex-PM’s medical reports, the chief justice observed that the former premier was suffering from a kidney stone, hepatitis, diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure.
Justice Khosa said that the reports are being reviewed to ascertain how long the former premier had been suffering from the ailments.
Justice Khosa observed that the former premier spent a busy life despite these diseases in the past. “He ran election campaign and faced trial along with addressing public gatherings.”
The SC then directed NAB to submit its reply and adjourned the hearing till March 26.
Earlier in February, IHC had rejected Nawaz’s bail petition seeking suspension of the sentence handed to him in the Al-Azizia case verdict on medical grounds.
The court maintained that all medical facilities are available to Nawaz, and hence, his demand for bail is not justified. Nawaz had then moved the apex court against IHC’s decision.
Subsequently, Nawaz Sharif moved the top court against the verdict.
The appeal contends that the IHC’s Feb 25, 2019, order is in violation of his fundamental right to life as guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution, adding that the Pakistan Prison Rules 1978 were neither relevant to nor invoked by him for the suspension of his sentence on medical grounds.
The IHC in its order had held that none of Sharif’s medical reports suggested that his continued incarceration would be detrimental to his life in any way, adding that he had been hospitalised time and again since Jan 2019 whenever he had made complaints about his indisposition.
It may be mentioned that an accountability court of Islamabad had on December 24, 2018, convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment and a hefty fine.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz said on Tuesday that novice politicians are seeking political gains while the economy is still in a dire state.
HAMZA TALKS TO JOURNALISTS:
During an interaction with the media, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz stated that individuals making “snide remarks” against the Sharif family should fear God as bad times can come for anyone.
“The matter is in the court now. Please show some morality in politics,” he added.
He went on to complain that the regularisation of encroachment in Bani Gala [PM’s residence] had been extremely unfair to the country’s public living in poor conditions.
Moreover, he reminded the public that the PML-N federal administration had even substantially decreased the problems of load-shedding in the country.
Had Pakistan not been a nuclear power today, God knows what would have happened,” said Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza.