ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday (today) accepted an application filed by former premier Nawaz Sharif to withdraw the earlier bail petition in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference case – thereby, allowing him to seek suspension of his seven-year sentence on medical grounds.
The high court bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani heard arguments of Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris.
Haris pleaded with the court for withdrawal of the earlier petition and told the court that they would seek Sharif’s suspension of sentence on medical grounds instead.
He told the court that Sharif’s bail petition was filed on January 5, however another bail petition was filed on January 15 after his health condition deteriorated.
The court assessed medical reports of the former premier and examined the comments of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the matter.
Meanwhile, the NAB has submitted a response in the IHC regarding Sharif’s bail plea in Al-Azizia reference case.
The NAB, in its written response, has maintained that the former premier has been provided ‘best’ medical treatment.
The anti-graft body said that Sharif was not entitled to acquire bail on medical grounds, and therefore, his bail plea should be rejected.
After Sharif’s conviction, his legal team had filed a writ petition for suspension of the sentence. This was followed by an appeal challenging the verdict and another seeking suspension of the sentence on medical grounds.
The petition has sought bail and suspension of Sharif’s sentence with a reasoning that he has been suffering from heart and kidney problems along with hypertension.
The accountability court on December 24 convicted the former premier in the Al-Azizia reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison, and acquitted him in the Flagship reference case filed by the NAB in mega corruption scandal.
Since then, he has been serving his term at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.