IHC reserves verdict on Bushra Bibi’s appeal against Khawar Maneka

By Obaid Abrar Khan

ISLAMABAD: On the plea of Bushra Bibi, the wife of Imran Khan, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday reserved its verdict against her ex-husband Khawar Maneka’s plea.

Earlier at last hearing, Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka moved a district and sessions court in Islamabad challenging Khan and Bushra’s marriage.

His plea was submitted only a day after a petitioner named Muhamad Hanif withdrew a similar petition challenging the nikah of the ex-PTI chief “due to technical reasons”.

Bushra had moved the high court earlier in the day Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri of IHC took up the petition on the same day for hearing.

During the hearing, Bushra’s lawyer informed the court that his client’s former husband had made allegations that Bushra married Khan while in iddat and that she did not exhibit a good character even during their marriage.

The lawyer added that according to the former husband, Bushra was divorced on November 14, 2017, and she married the former prime minister on January 1, 2018, during iddat. Refuting Maneka’s claims, he said they had divorced in April 2017.

Even if Maenka’s statement is accepted, then there is a gap of 48 days between divorce and marriage. Even in this context, there is a decision of the Supreme Court Shariat Appellate Bench that the iddat period can be completed in 39 days, he argued.

Raja said Maneka, in his petition, has also claimed that his wife was a fornicator. He wondered why the ex-husband was raising this issue six years after their marriage had ended.

“I do not even want to urtter the words Khawar Maneka used for his former wife in his complaint. He also alleged that Bushra had a relation with the PTI founder before their marriage, but didn’t mention whether he personally witnessed their ties or not.”

He added that Maneka’s house help also claimed that he saw Bushra and Khan engaging in adultery many times and informed him. However, this testimony cannot stand as the testimony of two men is required in case of fornication in line with the law.

He urged the court to issue a stay order on the proceedings in the trial court as it was proceedings towards indictment. The court remarked that it would hear the other side before issuing an order and also issued notice to Khawar Maneka. Later adjourned the hearing till January 17.

Petition:

Bushra Bibi, via her lawyer Raja, moved the IHC with her plea seeking to dismiss the case and stating that a trial court has no jurisdiction to hear it.
In her plea, she mentioned that in their judgments, the high courts declared marriages in iddat to be irregular, not annulled.

The petition further contested that Bushra’s ex-husband filed a complaint under malice for nefarious purposes, falsely alleging marriage during iddat on the basis of false and fabricated documents.

According to Maneka, the petition read, he divorced Bushra on November 14, 2017, and had verbally divorced her thrice on April 15, 2017.

While the former first lady moved to her mother’s house in August 2017, and stayed there till her marriage with PTI founder on January 1, 2018. In her plea to IHC, Khan’s wife has sought to declare “null and void” the order of the additional sessions judge East on January 11.

The case, it added, should be dismissed and proceedings of the trial court should be stayed pending the decision on the application.

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