The Islamabad High Court rejected the bail petition of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the medical grounds. The former prime minister seeks the bail on medical grounds which failed to satisfy the honorable judges of the IHC. Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani hear the petition and decide the matter.
The former prime minister’s counsels seek the bail purely on medical grounds but failed to convince the IHC bench. In their verdict, the judges noted that none of the medical reports of Nawaz Sharif suggested that his continued incarceration would be detrimental to his life.
The court seemed satisfied with the health facilities and medical treatment given to Nawaz Sharif. Here are the medical and factual grounds given by the IHC bench to dismiss the bail petition of Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds.
He sought his release on bail solely on medical grounds. Nawaz Sharif’s medical reports do not suggest his continued incarceration would be harmful to his life.
He is already receiving “best possible medical treatment available” to any Pakistani. His condition cannot be regarded as an extraordinary situation or case of extreme hardship. The petition was without any merit.
The judges cited two judgments of Supreme Court in two different cases in which the Apex court laid down the conditions in which bail on medical grounds could be granted to prisoners sentenced under NAB laws. The judges referred to a decision by the Supreme Court in Tallat Ishaq vs. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case in which the apex court wrote that a high court may grant bail to an accused arrested under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 “in extraordinary circumstances and not in the run of the mill cases or as a matter of course.”
Referring to another Supreme Court decision, the IHC said, “Under Section 9-B of National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999, provisions of Sections 426, 497, 498, & 561-A CrPC are excluded and no court, including this court, has the jurisdiction to grant bail under the said provisions. Under Article 199 of the Constitution, this court has the jurisdiction to suspend a sentence or to release a prisoner on bail (whether under trial or convicted); however, such jurisdiction is to be exercised sparingly, in extraordinary circumstances and in cases of extreme hardship”.
The verdict further states, “Where a prisoner is receiving medical treatment in hospital or in jail, he would not be entitled to the concession of bail. The petitioner (Nawaz Sharif) has been hospitalized time and again since January, 2019, whenever he made complaints about his indisposition.
The board of doctors in their report has said that Nawaz Sharif is receiving best possible medical treatment available to any individual in Pakistan. The referred fact cannot be regarded as an ‘extraordinary situation’ or case of ‘extreme hardship.”
The judges also mentioned the Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978 and legal procedure to obtain a bail on medical ground. These rules define the procedure for release of prisoners on bail suffering from disease (s). Rule 143 of said (i) The Superintendent will refer the case for release of prisoner suffering from a serious illness with the consent of the Officer in Charge 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”.
The verdict states that under the Prison Rule 197 a prisoner could be hospitalized outside the prison for special medical treatment, and in this case the rule is followed and the petitioner is taken to the hospital as and when he complains about his health.
The court clearly defines the grounds of dismissing the bail petition.
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17 November, 2019