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IHC dismisses Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi’s plea to quash Iddat case

Iddat case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed a petition of former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to quash the case against them for allegedly marrying during her Iddat period.

Iddat is the time a woman must observe after her husband dies or divorces her, during which she is not allowed to remarry.

IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq issued a 16-page verdict on Friday, stating that no legal flaw was found in summoning the couple on the charge of fraudulent marriage.

He said that the accused should contest the case on merit in the trial court, and that the case could not be dismissed after the indictment, as per the Supreme Court’s rulings.

The case against Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi was filed by Khawar Maneka, the former husband of Bushra Bibi, who claimed that they had violated the Islamic law of Iddat by marrying before the completion of her mandatory waiting period.

The couple has denied the allegations and maintained that their marriage was lawful and consensual.

The case is still pending in the trial court.

Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi got married in February 2018, in a private ceremony attended by close friends and family members. It was Khan’s third marriage and Bibi’s second.

Bibi was reportedly Khan’s spiritual mentor before their marriage. She is the mother of five children from her previous marriage with Khawar Maneka, a former customs officer and the son of a renowned Sufi saint.

Maneka filed the case against Khan and Bibi in June 2018, alleging that they had married on January 1, 2018, while Bibi was still in her Iddat period after divorcing him on November 3, 2017.

He said that they had concealed their marriage date and forged the nikahnama (marriage certificate) to show February 18, 2018 as their wedding date.

He also accused Khan of using his influence to pressure him into divorcing Bibi, and of threatening him and his family with dire consequences if he did not withdraw the case.

Khan and Bibi challenged the case in the IHC, arguing that it was based on false and malicious allegations, and that Maneka had no locus standi to file the case, as he had willingly divorced Bibi and had no legal or moral right to interfere in her personal affairs.

They also submitted their nikahnama and other documents to prove that their marriage was solemnized on February 18, 2018, after Bibi had completed her Iddat period of three months and 10 days, as prescribed by the Quran and the Sunnah.

They requested the court to dismiss the case as it was an abuse of the process of law and a violation of their fundamental rights to privacy and dignity.

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