Al-Azizia reference: IHC grants interim bail to Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds

05:41 PM | 26 Oct, 2019
Al-Azizia reference: IHC grants interim bail to Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds

ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted interim bail to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia corruption reference on the medical basis till Tuesday.

A two-member divisional bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallahand Justice and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heard a petition seeking the disposition of sentence earlier handed to supreme leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N by an accountability court. The IHC bench approved the bail against a surety bond of PKR2 million.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif had approached the court for an early hearing on the petition seeking suspension of seven-year long sentence earlier awarded to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif, who is the younger brother of Nawaz, had also annexed the 11-member board’s special medical board’s report in his petition, stating that the hearing should be held today due to the former premier’s deteriorating health condition.

At the outset of Saturday’s hearing, Justice Athar Minnallah observed that the Federal government and the NAB would be responsible if anything happened to the former premier.

“Take the responsibility or stop opposing the bail of Nawaz Sharif," said Minallah. “The court will not take the responsibility,” he added.

Earlier, the interior secretary, along with federal and provincial law officers, appeared before the court to tell the bench that “We can't take responsibility.”

The bench started its hearing on Saturday--the day when usually the upper courts do not take up the cases. The hearing started at 12: 30 pm and the bench issued notices to PM, Punjab CM, NAB chairman and others, with directions to the parties to come up with their replies today at 4 pm.

Later, additional attorney general and additional prosecutor general of the anti-graft watchdog submitted that the federation and the NAB had no objections over the bail on grounds of human rights.

Earlier in the day, the court also remarked that the Punjab government had powers to suspend sentence awarded to Nawaz Sharif if his health condition was very serious. The CJ asked Sharif’s counsel Khwaja Haris about the emergency in medical report.

The court also summoned five anchors including Hamid Mir, Kashif Abbasi, Amir Mateen, Muhammad Malik and Sami Ibrahim for giving an impression on tv that a deal waas signed between Nawaz Sharif and the government.

A medical team of Services Hospital Lahore had informed the court on last hearing that a five-day treatment cycle of former prime minister would conclude on Monday and after this it would be able to submit a detailed medical report of the prisoner.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) approved the bail of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

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A two-member bench, headed by Justice Baqar Najafi, heard the petitions filed by the former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif seeking the release of his brother from the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Approving the plea, the court has ordered the defendant to deposit two surety bonds for Rs10 million each for the bail.

The former PM was arrested in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case on October 11, 2019, by the anti-graft body. The PML-N supremo was on the judicial remand when he was brought to Lahore’s Services Hospital Monday night after his health deteriorated. The medical team has diagnosed him with acute ITP and the treatment is continued in the hospital.

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