ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the case pertaining to the appeal of Nawaz Sharif seeking suspension of sentence on medical grounds.

The court also directed NAB to bring all the relevant documents on March 26 because no adjournment would be granted and the judgment would be announced the same day.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi issued the notice to NAB after hearing the arguments of Sharif’s counsel Advocate Khwaja Haris against the Islamabad High Court verdict, wherein suspension of sentence on medical grounds was dismissed.

Keeping in view the Exit Control List aspect, Chief Justice Khosa questioned whether Sharif can proceed abroad if his appeal is allowed.

The arguments of Khwaja Haris were that his client be given option of treatment by the doctors of his own choice and without any stress or burden of imprisonment. It is further pleaded that Sharif had been treated abroad and he has trust in his doctors.

On the contention that Sharif had been getting medical treatment from abroad, Chief Justice Khosa observed that Sharif’s treatment from abroad cannot be materialized if his name is on the ECL.

When questioned whether Sharif’s name is placed on ECL, Haris responded that the government is ready to provide the doctors but since it is the matter of one’s life so Sharif himself wants to search and consult the doctors.

CJP observes Sharif’s treatment abroad cannot be materialised if he is on ECL

The chief justice observed that if Sharif is already suffering from the ailment and his condition has not significantly deteriorated then the situation will be different.

In order to consider whether the top court could intervene or not, the chief justice directed counsel for Sharif to read the medical reports from the date of his incarceration.

Advocate Haris cited five medical examination reports of Sharif and informed the bench that his client is already taking 17 medicines.

He informed the bench that Sharif has past medical history and he is suffering from Ischemic Heart Disease, Uncontrolled Hypertension, Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.

The bench observed that everyone knows Sharif received medical treatment in London. “We want to know whether his health deteriorated in prison,” said the chief justice.

Advocate Haris further informed the bench that two open heart surgeries of Sharif had taken place adding that there are also severe problems with his blood flow. 

During the hearing, chief justice expressed wonder that seven stents have been implanted in Sharif’s heart.

The chief justice also observed that despite such medical condition Sharif spent busy life from his election campaigns to even trials. “Now we want to see whether the condition has got worsened,” remarked the chief justice.

He, however, observed that there is no assessment in the reports and that further investigation is recommended because of Sharif’s medical history.

Advocate Haris responded every report says Sharif has to go for further investigation which is the evidence that his health problems are getting aggravated.

One of the reports says that angiography is necessary after clearance from nephrologists. “Perhaps clearance of nephrologists is required so that the angiography may not effect kidneys,” remarked chief justice.   

Advocate Haris contended that backup of open heart surgery is necessary for angiography due to past history adding that it is not an ordinary case of angiography.

The chief justice questioned whether his tests have been conducted only or any treatment has also been started since he is taken to hospital many times. Advocate Haris responded that no cardiac treatment has been started.

Referring to the medical reports, the chief justice remarked that treatment is not required because the medical reports say that pain could be stopped with a single medicine but there has been mention of involved risk. 

“The next stage is treatment. Obviously cardiac ailment cannot be treated in jail and for this he has to be hospitalized,” said the chief justice.

Advocate Haris pleaded that all reports say that his angiography has to be taken place and suspension of sentence is being sought so that he find and meet doctors of his choice adding that all his treatment has been done abroad and he trusts his doctors.  He further contended that his client will serve the sentence after complete recovery.

The bench while issuing the notice to NAB adjourned the hearing for March 26.