KARACHI – Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and former minister Dr. Asim Hussain filed a fresh petition in the supreme court seeking permission to travel abroad for treatment.
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The petition moved through counsel Sardar Abdul Latif Khosa requests the apex court to take up the matter on Friday (Aug 18) and allow Asim to proceed to the UK, where he had fixed a doctor’s appointment for Aug 24.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, is seized with Dr. Hussain’s application seeking permission to travel to the UK for medical treatment, the removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) and the return of his passport.
At the last hearing on July 14, the court had proposed the constitution of an independent medical board, consisting of doctors from all provinces, to examine PPP leader.
But Asim’s counsel opposed the suggestion, saying the court should steer clear of setting a precedent that may prove dangerous in the future, highlighting that Hussain was afflicted by a number of ailments.
In the fresh one-page application, Dr. Hussain contends that the matter merits an urgent hearing by the apex court on account of the nature of his disease and because the doctors in the UK had given him an appointment for next week.
The application recalled that earlier the matter was adjourned on July 14, with directions to fix it before the bench after a week.
‘However, the case has not been fixed for hearing since then, and in view of the urgency of the matter, it should be taken up on Aug 18’ the application asks.
The apex court is also hearing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) appeal challenging the Sindh High Court’s March 22 order granting Dr. Hussain bail in two corruption references.
Dr. Asim — a former minister and close confidante of former president Asif Ali Zardari — faces trial in two cases of alleged corruption of over Rs450 billion and another of allegedly facilitating and treating terrorists at his medical facility — Dr. Ziauddin Hospital.
He was released from the sub-jail at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi on March 31 this year after obtaining bail in all the cases lodged against him.
He was initially arrested by the Rangers in August 2015 and detained for around 90 days. He was later transferred into police custody.