ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought fresh medical report of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif till February 20, in his bail plea on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills verdict.
The bench, however, adjourned Nawaz’s main appeal till April 2, challenging the accountability court’s decision in the Al-Azizia reference.
An IHC divisional bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani resumed hearing on miscellaneous petitions of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo against his imprisonment sentence in the corruption reference.
During the hearing, Justice Kiyani asked whether the Jinnah Hospital had prepared final medical report of the prisoner. Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris informed the court that the hospital is yet to issue the final report regarding his client’s health condition.
The representative of Punjab government apprised the bench that Jinnah Hospital had facilities for treatment of several diseases. Nawaz had been shifted to this hospital on the recommendation of a special medical board.
On query of the court, he pleaded that the Punjab Home Department had no role in the formation of medical boards except the special one.
Justice Kiyani remarked that the question was that whether the patient was being provided medical facilities. “Did he have any objection on the treatment from Jinnah Hospital?”
Haris said he had not met with his client but he believed that Nawaz must have an objection as Jinnah Hospital had no proper treatment for heart patients. “Heart patients are treated at Punjab Institute of Cardiology,” he added.
Justice Farooq noted that reports of four medical boards had come on record so far. The bench also asked about the medical report of Jinnah Hospital.
The official of Punjab government expressed unawareness about this. He informed the court that Nawaz was shifted to hospital on February 15, and was being provided all medical facilities. The ward concerned of that hospital had been declared sub-jail.
He said the government would act upon the recommendation of doctors regarding Nawaz’s treatment.
Haris pleaded that Nawaz was suffering from a heart ailment and his condition could worsen in jail therefore the court should suspend his imprisonment sentence for seeking proper medical treatment.
Justice Kiyani said medical reports of Jinnah Hospital were still awaited and asked Haris to give his remaining arguments in light of those reports.
Accountability Judge Arshad Malik had on Dec 24, 2018, convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference and awarded him seven years imprisonment, besides imposing fines of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million on the PML-N supreme leader.
During the last hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris had argued that his client “was not the real owner of the assets, but he had still been sentenced” in the Al-Azizia reference. Moreover, bail had been sought on “medical grounds”.
It merits a mention that Nawaz is currently at Jinnah Hospital after a medical board recommended that he is transferred from Kot Lakhpat jail to seek treatment.
Moreover, IHC will also hear the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal against his acquittal in the Flagship reference and seeking an extension of the sentence and penalty in Al-Azizia.