An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday subjected the provision of an air conditioner for former president Asif Ali Zardari — who is under arrest in the fake accounts case and is seeking better facilities in jail — to the approval of a medical officer.
Judge Mohammad Bashir directed Zardari to approach a medical officer and ordered the authorities to allow an AC in the jail cell if the medical officer recommends it.
The judge, while hearing a contempt of court petition against the denial of air conditioning to the former president in jail, remarked that the law is not a decoration piece for display and questioned why the authorities are not providing an AC to the former president, if the law permits them to do so.
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During the hearing of the case, the counsel for Zardari argued that his client was a heart patient and seven stents had already been placed in his body.
Zardari is facing multiple inquiries related to the fake bank accounts case. As per a NAB report submitted to the IHC earlier this year, Zardari is facing at least eight inquiries.
The fake bank accounts case involves alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees through 29 accounts, which were found opened in three banks — Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Ltd.
The Federal Investigation Agency had named PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari, his sibling Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as suspects in an interim charge sheet filed in a banking court in August last year.
The case was transferred from the banking court in Karachi to the accountability court of Rawalpindi for trial in March this year.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested the former president on June 10 after cancellation of his pre-arrest bail by the Islamabad High Court.
Earlier in August, the same judge had rejected a request for providing ‘A’ Class facilities to Zardari at state expense. However, the court granted approval for various amenities to be installed or brought for use in his cell from his own pocket.
According to the ruling given on Aug 20, the ex-president was allowed to keep a fridge, an air conditioner, internet connection and a personal attendant in the cell at his own expense.
The jail administration had earlier informed the accountability court that they had forwarded its order to the home secretary and was waiting for a reply from the home department in this regard.