ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Wednesday sought reply from the National Accountability Bureau and Punjab government in a petition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking his release from jail on medical grounds.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of Nawaz Sharif’s petition moved through his counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed and deferred the hearing till February 12 after issuing aforementioned directions.

During the hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris requested the bench to allow him to withdraw the other bail petition which was already fixed on February 18 for hearing along with the main appeal against the trial court verdict in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

The bench remarked that let the court fix the fresh bail petition with the main appeal of former prime minister. At this point, Haris prayed to the court for early hearing of the bail plea,filed on medical grounds pleading that Nawaz’s family members were much worried about his health condition.

He said that he wanted to withdraw the other bail plea of his client as its hearing date was too far.

However, the NAB prosecutor opposed the bail plea and argued that the sentence of a convict could not be suspended on medical grounds. Meanwhile, Kot Lakhpat Jail’s officials submitted medical reports of former prime minister to the bench. According to the reports, Nawaz Sharif was suffering from disease related to heart arteries and it was necessary to maintain his blood sugar chart.

Later, the court directed to share the medical reports with the respondents and adjourned the case till February 12, besides ordering NAB and Home Department Punjab to submit their reply on bail petition.

In the petition, the former prime minister has sought suspension of seven-year sentence awarded to him by accountability court Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment case and his release on medical grounds. Sharif made the Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the accountability judge and the Kot Lakhpat jail’s superintendent as respondents.

According to the petition, under Section 342 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC), the former prime minister has refuted all allegations leveled against him and taken a categorical stance that the prosecution has miserably failed to discharge the onus placed on it to prove any of the allegations contained in the charges framed against him.

It stated that Sharif has been accused of establishing Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment (HME) in the name of his children. The court, however, convicted Nawaz by linking him with these companies because of transactions into his account from the HME. The former prime minister through his legal team challenged the conviction on January 1 and filed a petition seeking suspension of the sentence which after a preliminary hearing has been fixed for February 18.

He adopted in his new petition that the petitioner has now come to know that the appeal and Writ petition filed by him have been fixed by the office for February 18.

The petition said that Sharif has felt pain in both his arms and numbness of toes. Given his medical history, the matter was reported to the jail superintendent who referred him for medical examination to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, and the Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore.

It added that a special medical board was separately constituted to evaluate the health condition of the petitioner. Although the medical examination of the petitioner was conducted by each of the special medical boards on January 16 and a preliminary report, in the case of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, and a final report, in the case of the Allama Iqbal Medical College, was prepared on January 16 and 17, respectively, none of these reports, or the results of the lab tests on which the same are based, were shared by the respective board or their heads with the petitioner or his personal physician till January 22 while final report of PIC, Lahore, was made available on January 24.

It further said, “the past Medical History of the petitioner, showing that the petitioner has been suffering from Ischemic Heart Disease & coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), Hypertension (HTN), T2-Diabtes mellitus, and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)”.

 “On the basis of the abnormalities exhibited by the Lab data as noted above, the Special Board constituted by the Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore has made an assessment to the effect that the petitioner has, Stage 3 CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) problem secondary to Diabatic Nephropathy and HTN; Uncontrolled HTN; Mild Proteinuria; Suboptimal T2 Diabetes Control; Metabolic Acidosis Nephrolithiasis (i.e. Kidney stones) and benign Renal cysts,” added the petition.

It maintained, “In the light of the findings given and recommendations made by the two Special Medical Boards in their respective reports as reproduced in the foregoing paragraphs, the petitioner prays for the suspension of his sentence and release on bail pending final decision of his appeal on purely medical grounds as a case of extreme hardship.”

Sharif said that the petitioner is ready and willing to furnish the surety bonds to the entire satisfaction of this court, undertakes to appear before this court on each and every date of hearing fixed in appeal filed by him.

Therefore he prayed to the court that during pendency of the appeal filed by him against the judgment dated December 24, 2018, this court may suspend the execution of the sentences passed against him and he be released on bail.