Pakistan’s top court has approved former PM Nawaz Sharif’s bail on medical grounds for six weeks in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference. He will have to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, announced the verdict on Tuesday.
The court said that Nawaz Sharif will have to surrender after six weeks. In case, his health doesn’t improve after six weeks, then the PML-N Quaid will have to approach the high court and ask for the bail to be extended.
The three-time premier was sentenced to seven years in jail on December 24 last year. He has been serving the sentence at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Haris requested for bail for eight weeks. He said that Nawaz Sharif should be allowed to consult his doctors. The former PM will approach court against if his health doesn’t approve after eight weeks.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that eight weeks seems like an appropriate time period.
Harris said that Nawaz Sharif will complete his sentence once his health improves. Harris said that the PML-N Quaid will not go abroad without the advice of his doctor.
Justice Yahya Afridi said that the bench will review if Nawaz Sharif can be given bail till his health improved.
Nawaz’s lawyer and NAB prosecutor have completed his final arguments.
On February 25, the Islamabad High Court had rejected Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.
PML-N leaders react
The PML-N leaders started celebrating after the verdict was announced. Many said their prayers, while some distributed sweets.
Courts have granted Nawaz Sharif relief on medical grounds, said former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while speaking to the media outside the court. “This has unveiled the conspiracies of Punjab and federal governments.” The court has accepted that Nawaz Sharif has not been well, he remarked.
Pervaiz Rasheed said that the case against Nawaz Sharif was political. “We don’t have a personal vendetta against any political party,” he said. He rejected all claims that PML-N leaders have been asking for an NRO to ‘save’ Nawaz Sharif.