No intrusion into women’s private lives: lawyer

Raja declared Bushra’s first husband Maneka a liar, a statement that Maneka’s lawyers protested against.

Our Correspondent June 22, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi appear in court. Photo: Screengrab/File


An appellate court on Friday resumed hearing petitions filed by former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, seeking suspension of their sentence in an illegal marriage case and heard arguments by Imran’s counsel Salman Akram Raja.

A district magistrate on February 3 convicted Bushra and Imran and sentenced them to seven years in prison for contracting marriage on January 1, 2028, without Bushra first observing the mandatory waiting—iddat—period.

The couple had challenged the judicial magistrate’s order in the court of Islamabad District and Session Judge Shahrukh Arjumand. However, the judge on May 29 referred the case to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for its transfer to another court after Maneka expressed a lack of trust in him.

The IHC later listed the case for hearing in the court of Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majoka. On June 13, the IHC also ordered the court to decide the couple’s request for suspension of their sentence within ten days.

At the last hearing of the case on June 14, Judge Majoka had noted that he would decide the case within ten days and on Friday, he allowed Imran’s counsel to present his arguments.

Referring to an earlier verdict written by a bench also comprising famous scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani, Raja said no one is allowed to peep into the private matters of a woman.

“If a woman states she has remarried after waiting through three menstrual cycles following her separation from her previous marriage, her statement will be accepted as truthful without requiring further evidence,” he argued.

Raja also declared Bushra’s first husband Khawar Maneka a liar, a statement that Maneka’s lawyers protested against. Raja said that first an unknown person, Muhammad Hanif, sought legal actions against Imran and Bushra for allegedly tying the knot without observing the iddat period.

“Later, that person withdrew his plea but Maneka filed a new one [allegedly] after his chilla [brief abduction],” he said. The lawyer also contested the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Mufti Muhammad Saeed and Awn Chaudhry, both former associates of Imran Khan.


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