Nawaz Sharif gets bail, to be released from jail

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday granted Nawaz Sharif interim bail till Tuesday on humanitarian grounds.

The bail was approved by a division bench of the IHC against the surety bonds of Rs4 million.

The bench was hearing a petition seeking the suspension of former prime minister’s sentence in the Al-Azizia reference and his release on bail.

He has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail from where he was recently taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an inquiry related to Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

It was during the NAB custody that his health condition deteriorated and he was shifted to Services Hospital.

The Lahore High Court on Friday approved his bail in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, a day before the Islamabad High Court paved the way for his release from the prison by granting him bail.

The petition was heard by a two-member divisional bench that included IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.

During the hearing, the IHC chief justice said that if the government opposes the bail plea then the court will dismiss the petition.

“During this time period, if anything happens to Nawaz Sharif then the government and the NAB will be responsible,” said he.

He further said that ministers have been trying to place the entire matter on the court’s jurisdiction, which is why ‘a yes or no’ answer is needed.

Following which, the Additional Attorney General (AAG) responded that the federal government has nothing to do with this entire matter and they ‘cannot take any responsibility’.

The court ordered the AAG to take clear directions from Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, while hearing the case, remarked that the bench was set to hear the case on Tuesday. He added that the provincial government is empowered to suspend a prisoner’s sentence, therefore the issue should have never come before the court.

The former Punjab chief minister had also attached the 11-member board’s special medical board’s report in his petition. In his plea, the PML-N president had stated that the hearing should be held today due to the former premier’s deteriorating health condition.

In view of the former prime minister’s health condition the IHC has decided to hear the petition today.

It is pertinent to mention that the Lahore High Court on Friday had approved the bail of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The bail was approved on medical grounds.

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