An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday rejected a request to transfer the head of the PPP and former president Asif Ali Zardari from jail to a hospital.
The former president is currently in pretrial detention until October 22 in the case of false accounts. Zardari had moved the court on October 4 to declare that a hospital was a subcarcel for him.
The court rejected the statement alleging that the matter is not within the jurisdiction of the court. Judge Mohammad Bashir, while pronouncing the previously reserved decision, ordered Zardari to approach the relevant forum.
The judge in his three-page verdict stated that the court cannot declare a hospital as a sub-prison, as requested in the guilty plea. According to the verdict, prison authorities can declare a hospital as a sub-prison through an executive order. Therefore, the court advised the petitioner to approach the prison authorities with his request.
The court also ordered the prison superintendent to act according to the recommendations of medical officers or a medical board.
The National Responsibility Office (NAB) had arrested Zardari on June 10 after the cancellation of his bond prior to the arrest by the Islamabad High Court in the case of false bank accounts. On August 16, the court had sent the former president to Adiala prison in pretrial detention.
The case concerns a massive money laundering scam that was being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency. The suspects include Zardari, Talpur, the former president of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, Hussain Lawai, the CEO of the Omni Group, Anwar Majeed, and their children and several other high-profile people. Subsequently, NAB took over the case by order of the Supreme Court.
Bilawal, Bakhtawar denounces verdict
After the sentence, the president of the PPP, Bilawal Bhutto, and his sister Bakhtawar Bhutto went to Twitter to criticize the decision.
Bilawal said: "The state continues to try to use my father's health to pressure my party. Despite having been detained without being convicted of anything since August. He should still receive medical attention."
"Despite multiple medical reports from government doctors themselves that medical facilities must be provided in prison and taken to hospital for investigation / treatment, they have been denied their fundamental rights," he said, adding that Zardari You have not yet received a refrigerator to store your insulin and medications.
The PPP president said he will hold the PTI accountable if something happens to his father. He promised not to compromise democratic politics and its principles.
"If something happens, God does not want it to happen to my father, we will hold this government accountable. Despite these tactics, we will not compromise our democratic principles or policies."
Bakhtawar Bhutto tweeted: "Zardari was transferred to a hospital during the night from jail in August. Now October! A cardiac patient was denied the right to life."
"How is this justified?" she asked, asking if it was so because he is a former civil president.
"Criminal negligence with the intention of damaging under this fascist dictatorship," he added.