Wednesday May 08, 2019
Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has returned to prison in Lahore after his six-week bail ended on May 7. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected Nawaz Sharif’s plea for an extension of his bail and for treatment in the United Kingdom. Still, his counsel argues that Sharif is in need of treatment in London, by doctors who had previously operated on him and know his medical history.
Now that the Pakistan Muslim League-N leader is back in jail, does he have any legal options left to walk out again?
Sharif's plea to extend his bail, based on his ill health, expired on May 7 in the Al Aziza Steel Mills case. The court had turned down his request for treatment in the United Kingdom in its short order. The time awarded was for his treatment, not only for tests conducted during this period. He was also barred from travelling abroad during this course of time. The chief justice had remarked that angiography is the need of the hour.
It is to be noted that angiography is a normal procedure conducted all over Pakistan with no medical drawbacks and related issues. Nawaz Sharif can apply for bail after surrendering himself to the law, once the time period of the bail is over. However, he cannot apply for a bail while still on bail. Since his angiography has not so far been conducted, there is a good chance based on his medical reports that he may be awarded a bail for the required procedure.
Yasmeen Aftab Ali is a lawyer and a political analyst.
In light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal, against the Islamabad High Court judgment, at present Sharif can only apply for suspension of sentence if its a case of extreme hardship. But it would be difficult since after the SC verdict he cannot seek suspension of sentence on merits.
The only possible avenue available to Nawaz Sharif would be an appeal on fresh medical grounds, which at this point seems unavailable.
Muhammad Ahmad Pansota is an advocate of the high court.