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KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an application of former provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon seeking bail on medical ground in a corruption reference.

The detained former minister through his lawyer moved the apex court and contented that he was suffering from serious illness and a medical board advised him to undergo surgery abroad.

On the directive of the apex court, the counsel produced medical reports of the former minister and argued that the applicant needed a disc replacement surgery and pleaded for his release on medical ground.

The National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor Munsif Jan opposed the plea and argued that the applicant has spent most of the time in hospitals after being sent to prison and currently he was under treatment at a private hospital since May 19 and the provincial authorities notified it as sub-jail.

He further contended that the applicant was not suffering from any life-threatening disease and the treatment was available in the country.

After hearing both sides, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam dismissed the bail application.

NAB had filed a reference in 2016 against the former minister and others for allegedly committing corruption from 2013 to 2015 in awarding advertisements of provincial government’s awareness campaigns to electronic media that caused a loss of around Rs3.27 billion.

The former information minister with 11 others had landed in prison in October last year after a division bench of the Sindh High Court dismissed their interim pre-arrest bail applications.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2018