Lawyer urges swift iddat case verdict

In Local
April 06, 2024



ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI:

The lawyer representing former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, requested a court on Saturday to set aside the seven-year sentence handed down to his clients in the Iddat case before Eidul Fitr. However, the matter was postponed until April 9, likely the first day of Eid.

In February of this year, Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah sentenced the couple to seven years in jail, along with a fine of Rs500,000 each, for tying the knot during Bushra’s Iddat – a mandatory waiting period that a Muslim woman must observe on account of the death of her husband or dissolution of her marriage before she can remarry.

District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand heard the couple’s appeals against the sentence on Saturday. The judge noted that the appeals had been largely heard but added that the complainant, Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka, should also be given an opportunity to present his arguments. The court called for arguments from Maneka’s lawyer at the next hearing.

Read:Iddat case verdict termed ‘assault on women’s autonomy’

Salman Akram Raja, the lawyer representing the couple, argued that, according to the Supreme Court’s decision, a marriage could take place 39 days after divorce. He further contended that 48 days had passed since Maneka divorced Bushra on January 1, 2018, when Imran and Bushra married.

Raja also emphasized that Imran and Bushra’s Nikah was not solemnized again in February 2018 but only a prayer ceremony was organized. He referred to verses in the Holy Quran’s Surah Al-Baqarah about Iddat and the SC verdict in the Rashida Akhtar case, stating that the court would have to adopt that judgment.

Additionally, Raja argued that Imran had already informed the trial court that the prayer ceremony was held after informing his sons about the Nikah. He asserted that there could be 10 ceremonies after the marriage.

Raja pointed out that Maneka had remained silent for six years after the marriage and highlighted Islam’s encouragement for men to respect women’s privacy. He mentioned that Maneka himself had declared in a video message after the divorce that he had not seen a woman as pious as Bushra.

Furthermore, Raja stated that Imran had informed the trial court that his former confidante, Awn Chaundhry, was rewarded with a National Assembly ticket for testifying against him in the Iddat case. The court adjourned the hearing till April 9.

Read:Imran, wife indicted in marriage case

Similarly, the hearing of the £190 million scam reference against the couple was adjourned till April 17. During the hearing presided over by accountability court judge Nasir Javed Rana inside Adiala jail, the statement of one witness was recorded, and the initial statement of another witness was also recorded. The defence lawyers completed the cross-examination of three witnesses and filed an application for Bushra’s medical examination and tests.

 

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