Imran Khan was present before judge; Bushra did not appear; case filed by Khawar Maneka
RAWALPINDI: A local court Tuesday indicted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in a case of solemnising their marriage against Islamic laws.
Imran, a former prime minister who was removed from power in April 2022, and his wife have denied all charges in the case registered by Bushra’s former husband, Khawar Maneka, last month.
Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah read out the charges in the court set up in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, with the PTI founder in presence. However, his wife did not appear, which annoyed the judge as previous indictments were postponed because of her absence.
During today’s hearing the court expressed displeasure about the former first lady’s absence and questioned how she could leave without the court’s permission.
To this, her lawyer Usman Gill said that his client had left for the hospital owing to her ill health.
Meanwhile, the prosecution objected to Bushra’s medical report saying that it fails to mention any particular treatment — that the accused has gone through.
“You are repeatedly seeking exemption [from appearing before the court] by submitting medical reports,” the court said while addressing Bushra’s counsel, adding that exemption is sought by one who is not present in court.
Additionally, the PTI chief was also called on to the rostrum upon which the former premier expressed a lack of understanding of the legal terms, saying that he would sign the charge sheet after his lawyer briefed him on it.
However, he did sign the charge sheet following consultations with his lawyers.
The development comes a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on Bushra’s plea seeking dismissal of Maneka’s case.
In her petition, Bushra — via her lawyer Barrister Salman Akram Raja — contended the admissibility of Maneka’s petition saying that a trial court has no jurisdiction to hear it while also urging the court to declare “null and void” the order of the additional sessions judge East on January 11.
Last month, Maneka had moved a district and sessions court in Islamabad challenging Imran and Bushra’s marriage. His plea was submitted only a day after petitioner Muhamad Hanif withdrew a similar petition challenging the nikah of the PTI chief “due to technical reasons”.
Furthermore, she has also stressed that her ex-husband’s complaint was filed under malice for nefarious purposes, falsely alleging marriage during iddat on the basis of false and fabricated documents.
In their judgments, the high courts declared marriages in iddat to be irregular, not annulled, the plea noted.
During Monday’s hearing, Raja underscored that Maneka, in his petition, claimed that his wife was a fornicator. The counsel wondered why was the ex-husband raising this issue six years after their marriage had ended.
“I do not even want to utter the words Maneka used for his former wife in his complaint. He also alleged that Bushra had a relationship with the PTI founder before their marriage, but didn’t mention whether he personally witnessed their ties or not,” Raja added.
The lawyer further argued that Maneka’s house help’s testimony — alleging Imran and Bushra of adultery — cannot stand as the testimony of two men is required in case of fornication in line with the law.
It is pertinent to mention that Maneka, in his petition, had termed Bushra and Imran’s nikkah “fraudulent” contending that the marriage was solemnised during her iddat — following her divorce with him.
“That above said nikah and the marriage ceremony was neither legal nor Islamic as it was solemnised without observing iddah period,” read the petition available with Geo.tv.
He also accused the former prime minister of ruining his entire life with the petition stating that the PTI top leader “stigmatised the complainant and his family just to achieve his unethical and immoral objects through intrusion in the complainant’s peaceful marital life”.