–AAG says former premier’s bail period has lapsed and he should return to Pakistan for seeking extension
LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Monday directed the federal government to avail ‘appropriate remedy’ after examining the medical reports of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Presiding over the hearing of a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif against the condition of the indemnity bond imposed by the government on the removal of Nawaz’s name from Exit Control List (ECL), Justice Tariq Abbasi told the government’s lawyers that they should have filed a civil miscellaneous application for Nawaz’s return.
The court observed that according to the order issued by the LHC, Nawaz must return to the country after getting a fitness certificate from his doctors.
The court said that the government can file a separate request if they do not believe reports regarding Nawaz’s health.
The former premier’s counsels said that Nawaz’s medical reports, submitted to the court, indicate that he is not fit to return to Pakistan. Contesting their argument, Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A Khan said that the bail granted to Nawaz had lapsed and he should have returned to apply for an extension.
Justice Mushtaq Ahmed inquired from the counsels whether Nawaz would return from London. To this Justice Abbasi light-heartedly remarked that “some others are making an effort to go abroad”.
A day earlier, the Punjab government had rejected the medical report of the former prime minister, claiming it was prepared by a private UK doctor instead of his general physician in London.
According to sources, the medical report sent by the private doctor lacks details about Nawaz’s treatment with regard to his blood platelet count.
According to rules in the UK, the medical summary includes data of a patient’s complete check-up issued by the same doctor who the patient has been seeing on a regular basis as well as the medical history of the patient.
In November last year, the government had given a “one-time” permission to former premier to travel abroad for his medical treatment for a period of four weeks. Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem had said the permission was “not conditional to anyone’s consent” and was granted to fulfill the government’s obligations in view of Nawaz’s “adverse critical medical condition”.
However, the government had asked the Sharif family to submit an indemnity bond “to the tune of Rs7-7.5 billion”. Following this, the PML-N had rejected the government’s decision, terming it “biased” and “based on revenge politics”.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif announced that the party’s legal team had approached the LHC against the condition of submitting indemnity bonds and had accused the government of playing “dirty politics”.
Subsequently, on Nov 16, the LHC had allowed Nawaz to travel abroad for a period of four weeks, extendable on the basis of medical reports and had suspended the condition of submitting indemnity bonds.