Illegal marriage case against Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi declared admissible

Court orders Bushra Bibi to appear on Dec 14; Khawar Maneka had filed a petition against nikkah during iddat

Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) with his wife Bushra Bibi (left) arrive to appear at a high court in Lahore on May 15, 2023. — AFP
  • Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband also appeared in court with his lawyer.
  • Court demands eyewitnesses in fornication charges against couple.
  • Police directed to present Imran Khan at next hearing.

ISLAMABAD: A civil court on Monday declared the case of an illegal marriage against former prime minister Imran Khan and his current wife, Bushra Bibi, as admissible.

The court’s decision was followed by the issuance of notices to the parties involved, including Bushra Bibi, under Section 496-B. The court has ordered her to appear in person on December 14, which has been scheduled as the next hearing date, The News reported.

As per the reports, Khawar Maneka — Bushra Bibi’s former husband, who had approached the court — has claimed that the marriage was illegal and against the laws of Sharia. 

During the hearing, Maneka also appeared in court along with his lawyer, Rizwan Abbasi.

Furthermore, the couple also faces charges of fornication but the court has indicated that it would demand two eyewitnesses from the complainant to provide evidence against the couple in this regard.

After hearing the arguments on the admissibility of the case, the senior civil judge reserved his decision and later declared the case admissible. 

The judge then issued notices to the parties for December 14 under Section 496-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), the fornication clause in Pakistani law, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of Rs10,000.

Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi were originally accused of marrying within the three-month iddat period that follows a divorce. Additionally, Maneka has accused them of fornication.

While presenting his arguments, Rizwan Abbasi stated that Section 296-B applied to the case, claiming that Maneka and his servant Latif were the two eyewitnesses in the case.

However, the judge said that the law was clear and that two witnesses were required in addition to the complainant.

The lawyer insisted on presenting his argument and said the maidservant was also in the house and could be produced as a witness. The court also asked about medical evidence.

The judge said that Maneka could not be half complainant and half witness at the same time. The judge eventually reserved the decision, which he handed down later.

The court has instructed authorities to take Imran Khan’s e-attendance for the case on the next hearing, as he is imprisoned in Adiala jail.

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