The Islamabad High Court rejected on Monday former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.
The verdict was earlier reserved.
PML-N workers gathered outside the Islamabad High Court to protest against the decision. Personnel of the elite force and Islamabad police have been deployed at the court.
On February 20, a two-judge Islamabad High Court bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani reserved its verdict after hearing the PML-N founder’s petition to get his sentence suspended in the Al-Azizia case.
The three-time former prime minister wants his sentence in the Al-Azizia case suspended until the final verdict in the appeal is announced. Nawaz was sentenced to seven years in jail on December 24 last year. On January 26, his counsel moved the court against the verdict.
His lawyer Khawaja Harris cited the former premier’s poor health as one of the reasons why his sentence should be suspended. He said his client’s illness is serious. He informed the court that the sub jail atmosphere is the root cause of his condition.
On other hand, NAB requested the court to deny Nawaz’s plea. He has spent three months in jail so far, including the time he was admitted to the Services and Jinnah hospitals.
Approaching the Supreme Court is the former premier’s last chance to have his sentence suspended.
PML-N leaders spoke to the media outside the court on Monday afternoon and said they would be approaching the top court to appeal this verdict. Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the treatment needed by Nawaz cannot be received within a jail.
According to the written order, the jail superintendent has the power to transfer any ill prisoner to a hospital if there is need under the law. In Nawaz’s case, this law is being adhered to is being used and he has been taken to the hospital when he is ill, read the order.
If a prisoner is being given medical facilities he is not entitled to bail, it said. Since January, whenever Nawaz has needed medical treatment, it has been provided to him, said the judges.
According to medical reports, he is being given proper medical facilities within Pakistan, the order read. Nawaz’s lawyers have argued that his condition cannot be treated within the country.
These are the same grounds on which PPP leader Sharjeel Memon’s bail was rejected, it read. His doctors didn’t advise surgery either.