ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday accepted District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand’s request seeking transfer of the iddat case related to the marriage of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. The case has now been transferred to the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majuka who will hear the case from now on. The IHC decision comes days after the judge wrote a letter to IHC registrar, stating that it will not be appropriate for him to announce the verdict in the aforementioned case due to reservations raised by Bushra’s former husband and petitioner Khawar Maneka. He requested the registrar to transfer Bushra and Khan’s appeals against conviction to another court. The judge, in his letter, also complained of repeated disruptions by Maneka and his lawyers during the hearing. Judge Arjumand had written the letter after Maneka himself expressed his lack of confidence in the judge. During the hearing of the case conducted on May 29, the former first last’s ex-husband told the judge: “I don’t want you deciding this case.” “What is the reason for this?” the judge asked while lamenting repeated expressions of no-confidence. “Tell me if there’s any concrete reason for this […] some judge will decide the case eventually,” Judge Arujmand said while highlighting that the court has already dismissed a no-confidence motion filed by Maneka wherein he had expressed no confidence in the judge and requested that the case be transferred to another court. The same day, Maneka was also beaten by PTI lawyer in the premises of the court as he appeared for the hearing of the case. During the hearing of appeals filed by Bushra and Khan against conviction in the iddat case, Judge Arjumand went into his chamber without announcing the verdict. Following the development, PTI lawyers hurled bottles in the courtroom which prompted Maneka’s lawyers to escort him out. However, while being escorted out, a PTI lawyer then attacked Maneka within the court premises after which he fell to the ground. The court, on May 23, had reserved the verdict on the appeals which was to be announced that day. Maneka had, in January, moved the court challenging Khan and Bushra Bibi’s marriage and terming their nikah as fraudulent, stressing that the marriage was solemnised during her iddat (the time a woman goes into isolation after a divorce or her husband’s death). The trial court then handed down a seven-year sentence to the couple in February and imposed a fine of Rs500,000 each on the duo. In its 51-page detailed verdict, the court maintained that the record proves that both of the accused, Khan and Bushra, were in relation before the 2018 “fraudulent” nikah. Commenting on the likelihood of the case’s verdict being issued in favour of Khan and Bushra Bibi, PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan earlier said: “We know what the decision of iddat case was to be announced on merit. In principle, the court should not be used for political matters, and the court should also not allow itself to be used.”



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