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Wednesday July 24, 2024

Iddat case: Judge says decision in 10 days ‘if he remains alive’

Advocate Gul requested the court to schedule hearing for the next day, citing directions from high court

By Khalid Iqbal
June 15, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi. — AFP/APP/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi. — AFP/APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Additional District and Sessions Judge (AD&SJ) Islamabad Muhammad Afzal Majoka has issued notices to the parties involved in the case against former premier Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi regarding their conviction in the Nikah-in-iddat case, saying he will announce the decision on appeals in 10 days if he remains alive.

During the hearing on Friday, the court remarked that the complainant, Khawar Maneka and his lawyer must appear before the court on June 21. “If they fail to appear, a decision will be made based on the available records,” the judge warned.

On Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the additional sessions court of Islamabad to decide the appeals of former PM Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi against their conviction in the Iddat Nikkah case within one month.

The court heard appeals against the sentences and requests for suspension of sentences. Judge Afzal Majoka presided over the session, with Bushra Bibi’s lawyer Advocate Usman Riaz Gul presenting the IHC written decision.

Advocate Gul requested the court to schedule the hearing for the next day, citing directions from the high court.

IHC Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb had also ordered the additional sessions judge to decide applications of Bushra Bibi for suspension of sentence in 10 days. “If I am alive, I will make a decision within 10 days,” the judge remarked.

He mentioned that scheduling for the next day was not possible due to numerous pending bail applications, but assured, “If the other party does not appear, I will still make a decision.”

Usman Riaz Gul Advocate urged the court to set the hearing for the next day to ensure the notices become part of the record.

“The order of today’s hearing will include more significant details than just the notices,” Judge Majoka responded. After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the case until June 21. The court had previously reserved its verdict on May 23, but failed to announce it on May 29 after complainant Khawar Maneka expressed no confidence in the judge. The judge then sought the transfer of the case to another court, citing bias concerns. 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 Shahrukh Arjumand heard the appeal but on May 29, he requested the IHC to send the case to another judge. The PTI founder and his wife had approached the IHC against the transfer of the appeal to Additional Sessions Judge Majoka. They requested the IHC to transfer the appeal back to Islamabad District and Sessions Judge Arjumand.