ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif bail for six weeks to obtain medical treatment within the country.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the former premier’s petition against a verdict by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to not grant him bail on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.
Announcing a short verdict, Justice Khosa directed the former premier be granted bail for six weeks to get medical treatment within Pakistan. Nawaz will not be allowed to leave the country, the chief justice said. The former premier has been directed to submit bail bonds amounting to Rs10 million.
The court further said that Nawaz’s bail can be extended. If needed, the high court can be approached for an extension in the bail term, the court stated. Earlier after both sides concluded their arguments, the court reserved its decision on the petition.
During the hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris asked the court to grant the former premier bail for eight weeks. “There will be no loss if Nawaz is granted bail for eight weeks. Even when Kulsoom Nawaz was sick people kept saying otherwise and when she passed away people said she had died earlier.”
Justice Khosa, however, inquired as to what will happen if the IHC verdict on the appeal is announced during this time as it has been fixed for hearing on April 9. To this, Haris said, “Only notices have been issued so far which I have not even received. If the appeal if even fixed for hearing on April 9, it will take time as the record is based on more than 4,000 pages.”
“As far as the treatment is concerned, my client’s life is at risk. He will surrender himself to the court after the treatment is complete,” he added. Nawaz’s counsel further said that his client is not leaving the country and his passport is with the court.