The Supreme Court on Tuesday took up Nawaz Sharif's petition against an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order rejecting his plea for bail on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.
The former premier's appeal before the Supreme Court seeks Sharif's release on bail after suspending the execution of the Dec 24, 2018, sentence of seven years' imprisonment awarded by the accountability court in the Al-Azizia reference.
The appeal contends that the IHC's Feb 25, 2019, order is in violation of his fundamental right to life as guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution, adding that the Pakistan Prison Rules 1978 were neither relevant to nor invoked by him for the suspension of his sentence on medical grounds.
The IHC in its order had held that none of Sharif's medical reports suggested that his continued incarceration would be detrimental to his life in any way, adding that he had been hospitalised time and again since Jan 2019 whenever he had made complaints about his indisposition.
Nawaz Sharif's counsel, Khawaja Haris, who had moved The SC for early hearing of the application, presented his arguments before a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Khosa today.
Haris contended that his client had already filed a petition in the IHC against the judgement given by an accountability court and shared details and findings of medical boards constituted by the government that had examined Sharif.
The chief justice, while citing Sharif's medical reports, observed that the former premier was suffering from a kidney stone, hepatitis, diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure.
Justice Khosa said that the reports are being reviewed to ascertain how long the former premier had been suffering from the ailments. He pointed out that despite the ailments, Sharif had been participating in elections, rallies and conventions during the 2018 campaign, in addition to his numerous court appearances.
The SC issued notices to NAB and adjourned the hearing till March 26.
No restrictions on meeting Nawaz, says minister
Punjab Minister for Information Samsam Bukhari on Tuesday denied the statement of Maryam Nawaz stating that the Sharif family had been barred from meeting Nawaz Sharif in jail.
"There is no restriction imposed by the government," he said, adding that Maryam and other family members can meet former premier whenever they want.
Earlier on Monday, Maryam had accused the government of not allowing her and the physician of her father former prime minister Nawaz to see him for the last five days.
“I am still waiting for the permission to meet Nawaz Sharif. He is unwell and it has been five days that I have no access to him. Not even his personal physician has been allowed to see him."
Shahbaz Sharif today took to Twitter to share that he has been barred from taking care of Nawaz despite repeated pleas.
"Family members and I used to meet Nawaz Sharif two, three times in a week to know about his health but now we have been limited to Thursday. Depriving the mother, sister, brother and daughter from their due right is blatant oppression," he tweeted.