IHC issues notice to NAB, jail official in Nawaz’s bail plea


–Nawaz’s lawyer says former PM should be granted bail on medical grounds as family is worried about Nawaz’s health


ISLAMABAD:  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and summoned detailed report from the Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent on an application filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking the suspension of the ­jail sentence handed to him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference on medical grounds.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar heard the plea filed by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris.

As the hearing went underway, Haris claimed that “the new medical report of his client [Nawaz Sharif] was issued on January 22”.

During proceedings, Justice Amir asked the lawyer what was new about this plea to which he said that his client’s family was worried about his health. Haris appealed to the court to summon the reports of the medical board, complaining that test reports of the former prime minister had not been provided to them.

When questioned by Justice Amir regarding the formation of a new medical board, the lawyer responded that he has not heard anything of that sort from an authentic source, except television channels.

“As per the issued report, Nawaz Sharif’s kidney was diagnosed with a third-stage disease,” Haris said while reading the report aloud.

Following this, IHC summoned all medical reports of the former prime minister and adjourned the hearing till February 6.

The former premier in the plea requested that the accountability court verdict sentencing him is suspended until a decision is announced on his appeal against the jail term.

NAB, accountability court and superintendent of Kot Lakhpat Jail have been made respondents.

“The sentence in Al-Azizia reference should be suspended and he should be granted bail on medical grounds against surety bond,” the petition read. In addition to that, a medical report dated January 17 has been attached with the plea during which a team of doctors had conducted a medical examination of Nawaz at the Kot Lakhpat jail.

Nawaz, who has undergone various checkups in jail, is reportedly suffering from poor health, particularly the heart problems, will be examined by a third medical board, including army doctors. The Punjab government had directed the board to evaluate the health condition of Nawaz and to submit a report immediately to the Home Department of the government.

Earlier, two special medical boards of the Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, and the PIC, Lahore, examined Sharif, 69, in Kot Lakhpat jail last week. The AIMC/Jinnah Hospital board had recommended that Sharif should be shifted to hospital for “optimal treatment”.

Earlier, Nawaz had also moved the IHC seeking a suspension in the seven-year jail term handed to him in the Al-Azizia reference. His plea has been fixed for hearing on February 18.