No proof Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi marriage was fraudulent, lawyer Raja tells court

No proof Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi marriage was fraudulent, lawyer Raja tells court


Sessions Court adjourns hearing till June 25

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Islamabad District and Sessions Court on Friday took up the petitions filed against the sentence awarded to PTI founder Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi in the Iddat case. 

Presiding over the hearing, Judge Afzal Majoka remarked that a decision must be announced before June 27. 

During the proceedings, senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja, representing PTI founder Imran Khan, argued that there was no evidence supporting the claim of a fraudulent marriage between Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. 

Advocate Usman Gill and Amna Ali represented Bushra Bibi.

Earlier during the hearing, Khawar Maneka’s lawyer Zahid Asif Chaudhry requested an adjournment, stating he would submit the power of attorney on the next hearing. 

At this, the judge told Maneka’s counsel that the hearing could not be put off, adding that arguments should be finalised by June 25 on the appeals.

Advancing his arguments, Imran Khan’s counsel Salman Akram Raja said that the precedents predating the establishment of the Federal Shariat Court were not applicable, asserting the FSC’s final authority. 

Raja further argued that Islamic principles safeguarded a woman’s personal life, underscoring that a woman’s statement should be conclusive. 

Raja contended that the apex court did not hold Bushra Bibi responsible, but placed the entire burden on the prosecution which had not recorded her statement. 

As a result, he added, the case was thrown out of the court on the basis that 39 days of Iddat had passed. 

Continuing his arguments, Raja said that as per their knowledge, the divorce between Bushra Bibi and her former husband Khawar Maneka took place in April 2017, after which she resided at her mother’s residence for four months.

He asserted that Bushra Bibi was not given an opportunity to present her stance during the trial.

The lawyer further said that the entire case revolved around the marriage event, adding that even if there was a violation of Section 7, a criminal case could not be filed. He also drew the attention of the court to the fact that there was no mention of word “Iddat” in Section 7 of the Family Law.

Raja stated that the complainant did not present evidence against Bushra Bibi, noting that there was no mention of the duration of iddat in Sharia.

The lawyer remarked that if the court has to decide on the central appeal, there is no issue if it does not decide on suspension of the sentence.

Raja said that the purpose of the law was to provide assistance to women. “I want to assist on the sentence suspension and on the appeal. I know that the court has to decide on the appeal on within next 15 days.”

Later, advocate Raja submitted a copy of Mufti Saeed's interview in a flash drive [USB] to the court.

“Mufti Saeed has acknowledged that the testimony was recorded on Feb 1 and the trial court gave a decision on Feb 2,” he said of the cleric’s interview.

At this, Judge Majoka expressed surprise that the decision was made in just two days.

After that, Khawar Maneka's interview with Geo News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada was played in court.

Examining the interview, Salman Akram Raja argued that both Maneka and anchor had used the word “former spouse” in the interview, but later in the trial court Maneka insisted that Bushra Bibi was in a wedlock with him at the time [of the interview].

“Khawar Maneka is simply a liar, He lied in court,” continued Raja.

At this, Zahid Asif, the counsel for Maneka, said that his client has not been proven to be a liar.

Salman Akran Raja further argued that Maneka had prayed for the PTI founder in the interview and maintained that there was a spiritual connection. “Khawar Maneka remained silent for five years and 11 months before filing the complaint,” he added.

Raja further argued that all the witnesses who testified in the trial court were managed by Aon Chaudhry, who was awarded a ticket by the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party for his supposed loyalty [in the Feb 8 general elections].

Later, lawyer Raja read the statement of Khawar Maneka's employee and witness Muhammad Latif in the court.

At this juncture, Judge Afzal Majoka inquired that when Khawar Maneka came to know about the marriage between Bushra Bibi and PTI founder Imran Khan.

Maneka’s lawyer responded that he would inquire and inform the court.

At this point, Imran Khan’s lawyer said that there was no evidence which supported the assertion that a fraudulent marriage had taken place.

The judge subsequently adjourned the hearing till June 25.