Ruling on suspension of sentence in Iddat case by June 27th: Court

Khawar Maneka appoints Adv Zahid Asif Chaudhry as his attorney in Iddat case

Islamabad   -   Local Court Judge Afzal Majoka on Friday stated in his order that application filed by former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi for suspension of conviction under section 496 CrPC in unlawful marriage case will be decided by June 27 and no further adjournment shall be granted at any cost.

The order further stated that Adv Zahid Asif Chaudhry had submitted his acceptance to plead the case on behalf of Khawar Maneka in both connected appeals and in the interest of justice, adjournment had been granted to him to prepare his briefing for the case. Judge Afzal Majoka was presiding over a hearing on Friday at District Judicial Complex, Islamabad in the appeals filed on behalf of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi for suspension of conviction in unlawful marriage case. The couple was sentenced to 07 years imprisonment and Rs. 0.5 million fine each on February 3rd earlier this year.

When the hearing started on Friday Adv Asif Chaudhry appeared in the courtroom and told the court he needed adjournment because he was the new lawyer of Khawar Maneka. Judge Majoka told him to submit his power of attorney right away in the court on Friday. Adv Salman Akram Raja, lawyer of Imran Khan, sought permission from the court to start his arguments on application and main appeal, and Lawyer of Mr. Maneka can take notes. Permission was granted by Judge Majoka and Salman Akram Raja submitted his arguments for over 2 hours in the courtroom.  Judge Majoka asked Raja if there were two Supreme Court judgments. “One you’ve been mentioning in the case suits you but there is another judgment which is against you. Which judgment will you accept? Salman Akram Raja told the court that the judgment mentioned was given in 1962 when Supreme Court was unified. New constitution was made in 1973 and Shariah courts were constituted after that. He further said, “We’re living in post-1985 era and Shariah Appellant bench of Supreme Court has the final say so we will have to accept the 1992 judgment. He further argued that Islam doesn’t allow anyone to pry on personal information of a woman. If the woman has stated that her Iddat period is over then her statement will be considered final. Even in the 1992 judgment onus was out on prosecution to prove that woman had completed her three menstrual cycles. Salman Akram Raja also told court that trial at Adyala jail was concluded in two days to which Judge Majoka seemed surprised and said only two days? Salman Akram Raja also submitted his arguments regarding the conduct of witnesses Aon Chaudhry, Mufti Saeed, and Lateef, servant of Khawar Maneka.

After hearing the arguments Judge Majoka adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (June 25th).