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Pakistan Deaths
Pakistan Cases

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday accepted an application filed by former Premier Nawaz Sharif to withdraw his earlier bail petition in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference case, allowing him to seek suspension of his seven-year sentence on medical grounds.
A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani heard the arguments of Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris.
Haris pleaded the court to withdraw 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 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 top anti-graft body, in its written response, has maintained that the former premier has been provided best medical treatment in the country, adding Sharif is not entitled to acquire bail on medical grounds and his bail plea should be rejected.
The NAB declared the petition redundant and stated, "In the instant matter it is admittedly and evidently submitted that the instant constitution petition is the second petition to an earlier writ petition bearing number 32 of 2019 which has been filed with identical prayer that of the instant constitution petition and after hearing arguments in the court has fixed for hearing the same on 18-02-2019 along with the main appeal under section32 of NAO, 1999 instituted by the petitioner."
Quoting the provisions of Section 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, the response further added, "No court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between some parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title where such a suit is pending in the same or any other court in [Pakistan] having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or in any court beyond the limits of [Pakistan] established or continued by the central government and having like jurisdiction or before the [Supreme Court]."
Besides, the Section 9a of NAO, 1999 is also mentioned that particularly deals with public office holders and corrupt practices along with Section 9b of the same, whereby it states that "all offenses under Section 9 of the NAO are non-bailable and no court shall have the jurisdiction to grant bail even to an accused in custody."
The response offers detailed law-based reasoning and quotes other cases where bails were granted to the accused if the decision on the case in question was delayed more than a certain time and remaining in custody was becoming torturous for the accused.
The NAB was quick to point out that "before admitting an accused person to bail on the ground of hardship caused by a shocking unconscionable or inordinate delay a high court or this court also looks for the reasons for the delay and if some significant or noticeable part of the delay is found to be attributable to the accused person then the relief of bail is withheld from him."
The response maintains that there are no unnecessary delays in the case which may warrant the suspension of Nawaz's sentence and hence deems that the instant constitution petition "merits dismissal."
According to the detailed document, the previous writ petition did not contain the medical grounds "and thus cannot be referred to by virtue of the provisions of Order-II rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1908."
The NAB response concluded by praying the court to dismiss the petition and declare it "neither maintainable, nor competent."
The hearing was adjourned till February 18.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019


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