ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued notices to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s petition seeking suspension of his sentence in the Al-Azizia reference and bail on medical grounds.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the fresh petition moved by Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris Advocate seeking bail in the Al-Azizia case on medical grounds and issued notices to NAB directing it to submit its reply in this matter.

After issuing the directions, the court deferred the hearing for two weeks.

The former prime minister in his petition cited the NAB chairman, judge accountability court-II Islamabad and Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent as respondents.

Sharif stated that the AC convicted him in reference No 19/2017 under section 10 of NAO, 1999 for a term of seven years along with a fine of Rs1.5 billion. He added that against the conviction and sentence, the petitioner had filed an appeal before this court and the same is now fixed for June 19 awaiting preparation of paper books of the trial proceedings.

Court defers the hearing for two weeks

Nawaz Sharif mentioned that subsequent to his release on bail on Supreme Court order dated 26-3-2019, he underwent multiple medical tests to ascertain the exact and precise extent and pervasiveness of the maladies from which he was suffering as necessitated before commencement of treatment. He said that after his medical tests, it was transpired that his health had considerably “deteriorated” since his last medical check-up by the special medical boards constituted by the government of Punjab and accordingly, the treatment required for the petitioner was also much more complicated and extensive than it was at the time when the aforementioned special medical boards had examined.

According to the medical reports, doctors have said that Sharif’s condition is quite critical. The doctors have also claimed that Nawaz is suffering from numerous diseases that can prove to be threatening to the incarcerated former PM’s life.

The recommendations of the specialist doctors hailing from the United Kingdom and the United States have also been attached with the plea.

Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to suspend the sentence awarded to him by the judge of accountability court and to release him on bail pending final decision of his appeal against the said conviction and sentence, on such terms and conditions as are deemed to be just and fair in the facts and circumstances mentioned in the instant petition.