Imran-Bushra illegal marriage case verdict to be pronounced on June 27

Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majoka on Monday heard joint appeals of suspension of sentence and expeditious hearing filed by PTI founder Imran Khan and former first lady Bushra Bibi. 

Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi's counsel Salman Safdar, and Khalid Yousuf Chaudhry and Khawar Maneka's lawyer Zahid Asif Chaudhry apperaed before the court. 

Barrister Salman Safdar's arguments 

Bushra Bibi's lawyer Salman Safdar raised objection to the jurisdiction of the trial court in the case. 

Safdar argued that Nikkah was solemnised in Lahore but sentence was awarded in Islamabad, which didn't come under the ambit of this court. 

Talking of his long career in the criminal practice, the lawyer wondered that no lawyer ever fought a case like this in court, adding that no one knew who committed fraud as both husband and wife were languishing in the jail. 

Expressing sympathy with Khawar Maneka, he said Maneka moved court under extreme pressure after six years. 

Safdar also mentioned suspension of sentence in the cipher case which, he said, had been challenged in the apex court before even entering the high court. 

The counsel also briefly talked about the suspension of sentence in the Toshakhana case which took only three minutes for the judge to decide, adding that he expected the same briskness from him in this case as well.

"We will respect your decision either it is in our favour or against us as we have waited too long in the previous court of Judge Shahrukh Arjumand by showing patience," he argued. 

Barrister Safdar further said he was representing a woman and a mother in this case who was complaining of her sore feet in the jail. 

Khawar Maneka's lawyer Advocate Zahid Asif interjected by saying that Bushra Bibi had requested herself to move in Adiala Jail from Bani Gala, adding that now she shouldn't have any complaints. On this Barrister Safdar responded that plaintiffs hadn't raised objections in the cipher and Toshakhana cases. 

"I am hopeful that the lawyer on the opposite side will also do the same in this case. Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand couldn't announce his verdict as a reference was made which ultimately brought us in front of you. But I'll accept your verdict whatever it may be. Salman Akram Raja was right when he was bent on taking a verdict from Shahrukh Arjumand's court", added Safdar. 

The judge asked Safdar if he was planning to file application of suspension of sentence on medical grounds to which Safdar replied that he would talk on this in the end.

Safdar told the court that the IHC was fully aware of the situation in the lower courts as complainant is using delaying tactics on purpose.

Barrister Safdar also read the IHC verdict before the court in his concluding arguments. 

After hearing both sides, court reserved the verdict which would be announced on June 27. 

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