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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Iddat case: IHC orders lower court to decide on appeals against conviction in a month

IHC gives 10 days to district and sessions court to decide on pleas seeking sentence suspension

By Awais Yousafzai
June 13, 2024
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) with his wife Bushra Bibi (left) arrive to appear at a high court in Lahore on May 15, 2023. — AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) with his wife Bushra Bibi (left) arrive to appear at a high court in Lahore on May 15, 2023. — AFP

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

The IHC has also directed the court to decide on 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 had sought the announcement of the district and sessions court's reserved verdict and had further requested the high court to hear the appeals in the said case.

Meanwhile, Bushra had sought for a decision on her plea filed in the sessions court seeking sentence suspension.

Last week, the former first lady had also moved the IHC seeking suspension of her sentence in the iddat case.

It is to be noted that in January, Khawar Maneka, Bushra's ex-husband, had challenged the couple's marriage and had termed their nikah as fraudulent, stressing that 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 resered 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 today, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) 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 that the court should set a time for the session 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 can neither be directly challenged nor indirectly.