Nawaz moves SC for medical treatment abroad

Files review plea seeking indefinite suspension of sentence, Only feasible option available to petitioner is to be treated by the same set of medical practitioners who had been treating him earlier in the UK”

ISLAMABAD - Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday approached the Supreme Court for reviewing its earlier judgment to suspend his sentence indefinitely and grant him permission to fly abroad for medical treatment.

Nawaz was convicted by an accountability court which awarded him the sentence of seven years rigorous imprisonment along with fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million. Furthermore, all assets, properties, rights, receivables and interests of and in Hill Metal Establishment stood forfeited to the federal government.

On March 26, a bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had suspended his sentence for six weeks on medical grounds and ruled that he shall not leave the country nor shall he be allowed to leave the country during his bail period.

Advocate Khwaja Haris, counsel for Nawaz Sharif, submitted a 16-page review petition which contended that “the only feasible option available to the petitioner is to be treated by the same set of medical practitioners who had been treating him earlier in the UK.”

Producing the opinions of medical consultants, it stated that the ex-PM is suffering from complicated and life threatening nature of Ischemic Heart Disease, Carotid Artery Disease, lymphadenopathy and renal artery stenosis, coupled with his co-morbidities i.e. high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes Mellitus and 3rd stage Chronic Kidney Disease.

“Accordingly, it is in the interest of justice that the further condition imposed by the petitioner’s release on bail in the order dated 26.03.2019, i.e. it is made clear that during this period the petitioner shall not leave or be allowed to leave the country and restricting him to get his medical treatment in Pakistan only also merits review.”

The review petition filed yesterday also stated that the court initially had, while orally announcing the order in open court, read out the terms on which Nawaz was being released on bail upon suspension of his sentence. One of the terms was to the effect that in case Sharif required any extension in his bail, he could apply for it to the high court.

“However, in the [released written] order dated 26.3.2019, this portion of the order as read out in open court stands omitted,” the petition stated. It is submitted that the omission may be due to typographical error, but nevertheless remains an error apparent on the face of the record.

“In any case, in the light of the submissions made in the proceeding grounds, the portion of the order sought to be reviewed whereby this court has placed a restriction on the petitioner (Nawaz Sharif) to apply for bail while surrendering before the court on expiry of the period of six weeks from the date of his release, i.e. this court’s observation that ‘surrender to the custody by the petitioner shall not include surrender before the court with an application for bail’ merits to he reviewed.”

The review petition next contended that the diagnosis made and the examination conducted, and treatment so far administered as well as treatment recommended by the doctors unequivocally show that Nawaz Sharif’s recovery is not possible within the period of six weeks.

It argued that due to this impossibility of medical treatment within six seeks, Sharif merits be released on bail without specification of any such condition. In this respect also the order of March 26 merits to be reviewed accordingly, the review petition contended.

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