IHC reserves verdict on petition for Bushra Bibi’s transfer to Adiala jail

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on a plea filed by ex prime minister Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, seeking transfer from the Bani Gala sub-jail to the Adiala jail.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments.

The former first lady’s lawyer Usman Gul while presenting arguments before the court, said the process of declaring the residence a sub jail was completed within few hours.

The superintendent jail, the court remarked, relayed they could not accommodate Bushra as the jail was already overcrowded. Apparently, it was already decided that she had to be transferred to Bani Gala, it added.

Justice Aurangzeb posed an array of questions on declaring Bani Gala a sub jail, asking the state counsel if its notification was prepared in a minute.

“Don’t you feel it was already decided that Bushra Bibi had to be transferred (home)? How many women have been brought to Adiala jail, after sending Bushra Bibi home?” he inquired.

The IHC judge questioned if the 141 women brought to the jail after that have lesser rights. “Why don’t you send the other women home as well?” he asked.

Responding to the judge, the government’s lawyer said Bushra was transferred to Bani Gala for threat in jail.

Justice Aurangzeb said he would be overjoyed if he was “willingly” confined to his house and questioned how a prisoner’s property could be made a sub-jail without their consent.

Bushra was placed under house arrest at her residence in Bani Gala on January 31, following her conviction in the infamous Toshakhana case. The authorities had declared the Bani Gala residence a “sub-jail” to confine the former first lady at the request of Adiala jail superintendent.

On February 6, Bushra had challenged the authorities’ move to imprison her at Bani Gala to serve a 14-year sentence in the case.

In the petition, Khan’s wife maintained that like other political workers of the party, she was ready and willing to serve her sentence in the “Ordinary Jail Premises at Adiala Jail, rather than the declared sub-jail at her residence”.

Moreover, the former first lady felt “unsafe” being confined alone in the premises of the sub-jail due to the potential security issues.

The wife of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder had said the “special treatment” meted out to her went against the spirit of equality guaranteed under the Constitution and was consequently discriminatory.

In view of the stated reasons, the petitioner had pleaded with the court to set aside the notification to declare her house sub-jail and shift her to Adiala jail in the “interest of justice”.

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