IHC sets one-month deadline for decision on Iddat case appeal

Lawyer Salman expresses concerns over the abrupt transfer of the case

Our Correspondent June 13, 2024
Islamabad High Court (IHC) orders Bushra Bibi’s transfer to Adiala jail. PHOTO: FILE


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday mandated a swift decision on appeal regarding the Iddat case involving Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi.

On February 3, Imran and Bushra Bibi were sentenced in the Iddat Nikkah case. Twenty days later, the appeal against the verdict was filed in the sessions court. Judge Arjumand heard the appeal and was expected to announce his ruling on May 29, when he requested the IHC to send the case to another judge.

Later, the IHC transferred the case to Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majuka. Imran and Bibi challenged the transfer of the appeal in the IHC through lawyer Salman Akram Raja. However, the registrar office raised the objection that the appeal was pending before the session court.

Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb, presiding over the hearing today, instructed the session court to resolve Bushra Bibi's plea for suspension of the sentence within 10 days and ordered a decision on the appeal within a month.

During the proceedings, lawyer Salman Akram Raja, representing the petitioners, expressed concerns over the abrupt transfer of the case from the original Sessions Judge to an Additional Session Judge.

Raja questioned the rationale behind this sudden change and urged the court to direct Sessions Judge Shah Rukh Arjumand to deliver the reserved verdict.

He suggested that, alternatively, the high court could take up the appeal itself or reassign it to the Session Judge West. Emphasising the need for a prompt resolution, he noted that the trial had concluded in two days and argued that the appeal should be treated with similar urgency.

Khawar Maneka's lawyer, Raja Rizwan Abbasi, contested the transfer, highlighting that an objection had been previously raised and dismissed. Abbasi asserted that the administrative decision to refer the appeals to the Additional Session Judge West was unchallengeable.

After considering arguments from both sides, Justice Aurangzeb reaffirmed the court's directive. He tasked Additional Session Judge Afzal Majoka with rendering decisions on both the suspension request and the appeal within the specified deadlines.


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