ISLAMABAD  -     Former premier Nawaz Sharif Monday again moved the Supreme Court, seeking early hearing of an appeal against the Islamabad High Court verdict in a corruption case.

On February 25, the IHC had dismissed the ex-PM’s plea for bail on medical grounds and suspension of the sentence, which he was awarded in the Al-Azizia corruption case.

On March 7, the former PM approached the apex court and the registrar’s office returned the application with the observation that procedure would be followed to take up the matter.

Nawaz’s counsel yesterday filed another plea for hearing of the case in the ongoing week. The petition reads: “It is stated that his (Nawaz’s) health has deteriorated since rejection of his plea.”

On March 1, Nawaz Sharif filed an appeal against the IHC verdict.

The petitioner said: “The high court totally misconstrued the meaning and connotations of the term exceptional circumstances and hardship cases as applicable to cases involving prayer for suspension of sentence on medical grounds and thereby rendered a judgement which is manifestly in derogation of law.”

“It is contended that IHC has failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it by law in passing the impugned judgement without adverting to the peculiar facts pertaining to the medical condition of Sharif despite noting therein the principle laid down in one of the judgements, that in cases involving suspension of sentence on medical grounds, the facts of each case have to be assessed on its own merits.

It added that the bench committed a grave jurisdictional error in basing its judgement on the premise that in none of the reports prepared by the Special Medical Boards there was any mention that the Sharif’s continuous incarceration in jail will be life threatening. Neither any such question was specifically put to any of the Special Medical Boards nor had any of the Special Medical Boards opined otherwise.

“In any case when the Special Medical Boards who had examined the petitioner (Nawaz Sharif) had categorically recommended that the petitioner needed continuous, 24 hours, round the clock medical/cardiac monitoring and/or that, considering his medical condition, he needed hospitalization for controlling his diabetes and his hypertension as well as for preventing damage to his heart and further deterioration of his 3rd stage chronic kidney disease. This by itself is sufficient to establish that the continued incarceration of the petitioner in jail was inevitably detrimental to his life,” he said.

“The medical reports also show that this is not the case of simple conduct of coronary angiography rather this angiography can only be conducted after clearance from the nephrologist. As per the final report submitted by the Special Medical Board constituted at the Allama Iqbal Medical College, Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, it has been opined that, given the longstanding history of co-morbidities and complicated cardiac surgical history of the petitioner, a nephrologist and cardiac surgical back-up are inevitably required during the cardiac catheterisation.”

It said that Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978 are neither relevant to nor were invoked by Sharif for the suspension of his sentence on medical grounds and reference to the said Rules or their non-applicability to the Sharif’s case is redundant and extraneous to his plea for suspension of sentence.

The former PM has been in jail since Dec 24, 2018 when an accountability court announced his imprisonment over corruption.