Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi challenge verdict of illegal marriage case

SuchTV  |  Feb 23, 2024

The appeal, filed on Friday, challenges the judgment delivered by Civil Judge Qudratullah on February 2, which found the couple guilty of solemnising their nikah during Bushra Bibi's iddat after getting a divorce from her former husband, Khawar Maneka.

The sessions court is scheduled to mark the couple's appeal today. According to sources close to the matter, Bushra Bibi's legal team has strongly criticized the verdict, alleging it to be "contrary to the facts".

Key points highlighted in the appeal include the dismissal of a plea to determine the court's jurisdiction to hear the case without any reason being assigned, as well as claims that the civil court failed to conduct the trial properly. Furthermore, the appeal argues that the trial court interpreted the rules of reference but disregarded Sharia law regarding divorce, despite its significance in the case.

It further contended that the petitioner, Khawar Maneka, filed the complaint after six years, adding that a similar application was earlier filed through another complainant. The late filing of the complaint raises doubts, it argues. Additionally, there were discrepancies in the statements of Maneka and other witnesses that kept changing, raising doubts about the authenticity of the claims.

One of the central arguments in the appeal revolves around Mufti Saeed's inability to provide substantial evidence supporting the alleged second nikah between Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan. This lack of proof has been emphasized as a crucial point in Bushra Bibi's defense.

Furthermore, Bibi's legal representatives have criticized the trial court judge, accusing him of using his "wrong judicial mind" in delivering the verdict. They have called for the decision to be set aside, stressing that justice has not been served in the case.

The appeal process marks a significant development in the ongoing legal battle surrounding Bushra Bibi, adding another layer of complexity to the already contentious situation. As the case progresses, all eyes remain on the District and Sessions Courts in Islamabad to see how the appeals will be handled.

On February 3, a senior civil judge had pronounced the verdict in the illegal nikah case. Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah sentenced Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi to seven-year imprisonment each. Their nikah, said to have taken place during her iddat after divorce from former husband Khawar Maneka, was also declared 'un-Islamic'. Both the accused were also fined Rs500,000 each.

The decision was announced in Adiala Jail, where Imran Khan is already serving a sentence in both Toshakhana and cipher cases.

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