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IHC orders Imran, Bushra’s appeals in Iddat case to be decided within a month

News Desk
Friday, Jun 14, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday gave one month’s time to a district and sessions court to decide the petitions of former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi challenging their conviction in Iddat case.

The IHC also directed the court to decide the pleas seeking the suspension of the sentence of the couple within 10 days. The court’s orders came as Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard multiple pleas filed by Khan and Bushra in the said case.

In his petition, Khan sought the announcement of the district and sessions court’s reserved verdict and also requested the high court to hear the appeals in the said case. While Bushra sought a decision on her plea filed in the sessions court seeking suspension of the sentence. Last week, the former first lady moved the IHC seeking suspension of her sentence in the Iddat case.

In January, Khawar Maneka, Bushra’s ex-husband, had challenged the couple’s marriage and termed their Nikah fraudulent, claiming the marriage was solemnised during her Iddat (the time a woman goes into isolation after a divorce or her husband’s death).

A trial court had then handed down a seven-year sentence to the couple in February and imposed a fine of Rs500,000 each on the duo. Khan and Bushra had then filed various appeals including the ones against their conviction and those seeking suspension of their sentences.

Judge Shahrukh Arjumand had reserved the verdict on their appeals challenging their conviction on May 23. However, in light of Maneka’s repeated expression of no-confidence, the IHC, on judge Arujmand’s request, had then transferred the case to the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majuka.

During the hearing at the IHC on Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja sought the announcement of the verdict reserved by judge Arujmand. The lawyer urged the IHC to either hear the appeals itself or transfer them to the additional sessions judge West. He said the court should set a time for the sessions court to decide the appeals.

Meanwhile, Maneka’s counsel Rizwan Abbasi opposed the transfer of appeals to a sessions judge and contended that the court’s administrative orders cannot be directly or indirectly challenged.