PTI to move high court against ‘shameless’ verdict in Imran-Bushra nikah case
“Iddat period had culminated by January 1, 2018,” insists Bushra Bibi, terming ex-husband Khawar Maneka’s complaint as “mala fide”
RAWALPINDI: Soon after the unfavourable ruling, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Saturday announced moving the high court against the trial court’s verdict that sentenced its founder Imran Khan and wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in the “nikah” case at the Adiala jail today.
The verdict, which also provisions an Rs500,000 fine each for both the accused, was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah today in response to the petition filed by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka against what he refers to as an nikah with the former prime minister.
Maneka, in his petition, had termed Bushra and Khan’s nikkah “fraudulent” contending that the marriage was solemnised during her iddat — following her divorce with him.
Gohar Ali Khan Press Conference
“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.
Speaking to the media outside Adiala jail today, Khan’s lawyer, Barrister Gohar, said that “shameless, scandalous and unethical allegations” have been made for political motives.
“This is a case that has no basis whatsoever, but in fact, was simply filed on the behest of Aun Chaudhry — a former close aid of Khan and one of the key witnesses in the said case.
“The cleric [who solemnised the nikah] has himself admitted that [Aun] Chaudhry ‘picked him up’,” Gohar said.
In response to a question regarding the legal grounds for today’s sentence, Khan’s counsel revealed that the judge maintained that the defence’s reliance on the Supreme Court verdict regarding the 39-day iddat is a “general precedent” and is not applicable in this case.
He further said that the court relied on the second function, held for family and children to take them into confidence, as the “valid nikah” instead of the actual nikah that was solemnised before that.
“The judge considered the second function as the actual nikah and not the first,” he noted.
“All of this is being done in violation of the constitution for political motives and character assassination of Khan sahib.
“We will move the high court against today’s verdict. We are hopeful for justice if these cases are presented before a free and fair tribunal,” he added while calling on the judiciary to uphold their oath and protect our fundamental rights by ensuring principles of justice.
Conveying the PTI’s founder message for his voters, the lawyer said that the former premier has called on his supporters to remain peaceful and persevere in these tough times.
“Even if I have to spend a thousand years here [in jail], I would not make any deal,” Gohar said quoting Khan.
Meanwhile, in response to the unfavourable trial court verdict, the PTI issued an official statement via its spokesperson, which mentioned the ruling as “extremely shameful” and “against Shariah”.
“The verdict is a serious and vile attack on the book of Allah, Constitution and matrimonial and family laws,” the spokesperson said, adding that the ruling came as an embarrassment for the entire justice system.
The spox further stated that it was an attempt to advance the “nefarious agenda” aimed at political revenge.
People will avenge every injustice with the help of their votes on February 8, they added.
Furthermore, speaking, Bushra’s lawyer Usman Gill also announced to challenge the verdict, terming it “against the law and facts”.
He said that only family courts have the jurisdiction over nullifying a nikah as per the country’s laws.
“No criminal court can void or verify a nikah,” he said.
‘Iddat period culminated on January 1, 2018’
Speaking to the media, Bushra said that Maneka, her ex-husband, verbally divorced her in April 2017, and the divorce dated November 2017 that has been presented by him before the court is “fake”.
“[My] iddat period had culminated by January 1, 2018, followed by the official announcement of the marriage in February 2018,” the former first lady stressed.
Acknowledging meeting Khan before her nikah with him in the presence of the latter’s family, she categorically rebuked the allegations of an illegitimate relationship with the PTI founder.
Commenting on the timeline of the case filed by Maneka, Bushra underscored that the case was lodged only after the applicant had spent some time in custody till November 14, 2023.
Terming the complaint as mala fide, she echoed Gohar’s remarks regarding the second function clarifying that it was simply a prayer ceremony and not the actual nikah.
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