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Sharif, Maryam will have to apply for ‘Better Class’ jail facility

Lahore: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be sent to a jail in the ‘Better Class’ category by virtue of being a former parliamentarian, but his daughter Maryam Nawaz can avail the facility only if she proves that she has paid at least Rs 600,000 as annual income tax, according to authorities.
Sharif and Maryam were convicted by a Pakistani court in the Avenfield Apartments reference and sentenced to 10 and 7 years in jail respectively. The father-daughter duo will be arrested upon their arrival at the Lahore airport on Friday from London where they are looking after Sharif’s wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from throat cancer and has been on ventilator since June 14.
“Sharif will be sent to a jail in the ‘Better Class’ category by virtue of being a former parliamentarian, but Maryam can avail the facility only if she proves that she has paid at least Rs 600,000 as annual income tax,” Dawn reported, citing authorities.
They would have to submit an application requesting a Better Class jail, as it won’t automatically apply to them. Furthermore, the jails would not be furnished with an air-conditioner or a refrigerator. “This is what the family can get under the law,” the paper quoted a senior official of the home department as saying. “Capt (retd.) Muhammad Safdar, Sharif’s son-in-law, can also get a Better Class jail after submitting an application.
He had not applied for it in writing by last evening and was therefore not given a jail in that category,” an official source was quoted as saying.
The classification was changed to Better Class and Ordinary Class through an amendment to the Punjab Jails Rules on a direction of the Lahore High Court few years ago. Under the rules, 68-year-old Sharif can get a Better Class jail if he submits an application requesting it.
However, the rules do not provide additional privilege to any former or serving president, prime minister or chief minister. Since Maryam is neither a former nor serving gazetted military or civil officer, like her husband, or a sitting or former parliamentarian, like her father, she can claim Better Class only if she proves, that she has paid at least an annual income tax of Rs 600,000. (PTI)

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