While rejecting bail plea of former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif in National Accountability Bureau’s Reference on Monday Islamabad High Court termed the petition has no merit for relief on extraordinary situation or case of extreme hardship on medical grounds.
Mian Nawaz Sharif is serving sentence of seven years imprisonment awarded by Judge, Accountability Court-II, Islamabad vide judgment of December 24, 2018 in NAB Reference Al-Aziza of 2017. He has invoked the IHC jurisdiction, seeking suspension of the imprisonment only on medical grounds.
Announcing its reserved verdict in the matter, a division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani dismissed the bail plea saying Mian Nawaz Sharif has been hospitalized time and again since January, 2019, whenever he made complaints about his indisposition.
“In fact the reports of Board of Doctors and various Teams constituted, are indicative of the fact that petitioner is receiving best possible medical treatment available to any individual in Pakistan. The referred fact cannot be regarded as an ‘extraordinary situation’ and/or case of ‘extreme hardship’, ruled in the verdict.
The bench also cited Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978 which prescribes procedure for release of prisoners on bail suffering from disease.
Rule 143 of the Pakistan Prison Rules,1978 reads as under:- “Rule 143.- (i) The Superintendent will refer the case for release of prisoner suffering from serious illness with the consent of the Officer Incharge of the Prosecution in whose jurisdiction the prisoner’s offence was committed, provided that:- (a) the disease is likely to prove fatal if the prisoner remains in prison; (b) there is reasonable chance of recovery if the prisoner is released; (c) the prisoner has not done any willful act, since he has been in prison, to produce or aggravate his disease; (d) the Medical Officer and the Medical Superintendent of the District Headquarter Hospital recommended the release and certify that the disease is of the nature prescribed; and (e) the prisoner has not more than six months to remain in prison before the expiry of his sentence”.
Likewise, Rule 164 of the Rules, reads as under:- “The Superintendent may recommend a prisoner for premature release who owing to old age, infirmity or illness is permanently incapacitated from the commission of further crime of the nature of that for which he has been convicted. The case shall be submitted to Government through the Inspector General. It shall be accompanied by the recommendations of the Medical Officer. The Inspector General will, in all such cases, obtain the Medical opinion of the Medical Board which will be convened by the Director of Health Services”.
The Division bench categorically observed that bare perusal of above Rules shows that Superintendant Jail has the authority to release a prisoner suffering from serious illness, adding parameters prescribed in the referred Rules are not attracted in the facts and circumstances of present case.
The bench said in the verdict that medical condition of the petitioner deteriorated on or about January 15, 2019 saying it is only thereafter that instant writ petition was filed whereas the case law cited by learned counsel for National Accountability Bureau is not attracted in the facts and circumstances of instant case.
Dismissing the bail application, the division bench said, “Finally, we find that objection taken by learned counsel for the respondents regarding maintainability of instant petition, is of no substance.
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