Maneka’s counsel skips hearing in Iddat case

In Local
April 09, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

Lawyers for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder and his wife, Bushra Bibi, requested the District and Sessions Judge of Islamabad on Tuesday to suspend the sentence awarded to the couple in a case of their marriage during the ‘Iddat’ period.

Judge Shahrukh Arjumand adjourned the hearing till April 15, saying that if the lawyer for Bibi’s previous husband Khawar Maneka did not appear in the court on the next date of hearing, he would announce his decision on the suspension of the sentence.

On February 3, an Islamabad court sentenced Imran and Bibi to seven years imprisonment each over their ‘un-Islamic’ marriage — the third sentencing for the PTI leader in a week before the general elections. The case was tried on the premises of Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

The case, filed by Maneka, alleged that Bibi violated the Islamic practice of observing the mandatory pause, or Iddat, between two marriages. Furthermore, Maneka accused his ex-wife and Imran of having an adulterous relationship before their marriage.

Read:Lawyer urges swift iddat case verdict

Imran and Bibi challenged the verdict in the district and sessions court. During the hearing of the appeals on Tuesday, Bibi’s lawyer Usman Riaz Gul completed his arguments, Manika’s lawyer Rizwan Abbasi remained absent.

Lawyer Salman Akram Raja requested the judge to suspend the sentence, saying that there was no need for adjourning that hearing. However, the judge said that hearings were adjourned in any court and that he had to balance both sides in the case.

Earlier, Gul argued that the trial court conducted the hearings in haste, even it did not complete the process of the statements of the accused. The judge inquired whether there was any previous court decision regarding the late-night hearings. On that the lawyer said that there was no such decision.

Raja said that the trial court did not even give the defence a chance to present evidence. He added that the marriage took place in Lahore but the case was conducted in Islamabad. He also cited the a video of Manika, I which he had said that Bibi was a woman of virtue.

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

A video of the statement of Mufti Saeed, who solemnised the Nikah of the couple, to a senior journalist was also played. Raja further argued that the procedure of receiving the divorce certificate was not adopted most of the time in the Pakistani society.

The judge remarked that he would hear arguments on suspension of sentence in the next hearing, adding that if Rizwan Abbasi did not appear and did not present his arguments, he would pronounce the verdict on the suspension of the sentence. The hearing was adjourned until April 15.

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