Maneka denied differences with wife caused by Imran: Bushra’s lawyer

Khalid Iqbal
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and ex-PTI chairman Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi on Tuesday failed to get relief in an illegal marriage case before Eidul Fitr after Rizwan Abbasi, counsel for Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka, again failed to appear in the court, prompting the judge to say that he would pronounce the verdict on the next hearing even if Abbasi again skipped the hearing.

District and Sessions Judge, Islamabad, Shah Rukh Arjumand, heard the appeals, seeking suspension of the sentence awarded to Imran and Bushra in the case.

Speaking on the occasion, Bushra’s lawyer Usman Gill said that the trial court heard the case in an urgency. “There were several persons who could not record their statements in the court,” he said, adding, “Suspects in the case were indicted in their absence.”

Gill said that the trial court had deprived the suspects of a fair trial by not fulfilling legal requirements. He lamented during the hearing of the US cipher case, the defendants’ lawyer reached the court late. “But a state prosecutor was appointed in his place instead and the court gave the decision,” he said, adding, “Abbasi has not appeared in the court today, and I can say it with surety that he will not appear for a week.”

Bushra’s lawyer went on to say that the trial court would conduct the hearing of the case till late at night. “On one day, the hearing began at 10:00 in the morning and continued till 11:30 at night after the court asked the lawyers to give their final arguments,” he recalled.

Gill said that Maneka divorced Bushra thrice. “Now what else is left in the case?” he questioned and cited the decisions given by different sessions courts on divorce. He argued that when Maneka had divorced Bushra thrice, then there was no question of a patch-up.

The video of Maneka’s statement about her ex-wife was also played in the court. Afterwards, referring to Maneka’s statement, Gill said Maneka had said that now he was Bushra’s ex-husband. In his statement Maneka had described his former wife as the most pious woman in the world, the lawyer said, adding, “Maneka had also denied that differences had developed between him and Bushra due to Imran.”

The video of the statement given by Nikah Khawan Mufti Saeed to a senior journalist was also played in the court in which he talked about Imran’s marriage with Bushra and the controversy surrounding their period of iddat. Advocate Salman Akram Raja said that Saeed, who was also a witness in the case, had said that Aun Chaudhry met him. The lawyer told the court that Saeed had said that he still held the same opinion about Imran-Bushra’s marriage and iddat he had expressed before. Quoting Bushra, he said she was satisfied with the validity of her marriage.

Raja said that Imran was of the view that such cases were filed for his victimization. “Those who fabricated these cases were under the impression that this would dent the PTI’s popularity in the masses. But the latter proved them wrong by voting in favour of party candidates in the general elections in large numbers,” he said.

The lawyer also complained that the trial court did not give him time to present evidence in the case. “Nikah was solemnized in Lahore, while the case was filed here in Islamabad,” he complained. He argued that in the absence of any proof, suspects were acquitted in the case. He said that Maneka’s lawyer Rizwan Abbasi has deliberately not shown up today. “He has wasted precious time of the court,” he added.

Pronouncing the decision of today’s hearing, the judge said that the complainant had not submitted his medical certificate. “If the complainant does not appear on the next hearing, the hearing will not be adjourned,” the judge said categorically.