Iddat case: PTI lawyers attack Khawar Maneka

Court was expected to announce verdict on Bushra, Imran Khan's appeals against conviction today

Arfa Feroz Zake
Iddat case: PTI lawyers attack Khawar Maneka
Former first lady Bushra Bibi's ex-husband Khawar Maneka comes under attack by PTI lawyers at a district and sessions court in Islamabad on May 29, 2024. — Geo News
  • Maneka doesn't want Judge Arujmand to decide iddat case.
  • Judge Arujmand asks Maneka reason behind his lack of confidence.
  • Judge writes to IHC requesting transfer of appeals to another court.

ISLAMABAD: In an unpleasant turn of events, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyers Wednesday attacked former first lady Bushra Bibi's ex-husband Khawar Maneka in the premises of the court as he appeared for a hearing of the un-Islamic nikah case in a district and sessions court in Islamabad.

During the hearing of appeals filed by Bushra her husband and PTI founder Imran Khan against conviction in the iddat case, Judge Shahrukh 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, reserved the verdict on the appeals which was to be announced today.

Maneka, in January, had 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.

Today's hearing

During the hearing today, Judge Arujmand said: "Consult Rizwan Abbasi [Maneka's lawyer] and tell what you want."

To this, the assistant of Maneka's counsel requested the judge to transfer their case to another court.

"I don't want you deciding this case," Maneka himself said when asked about what he wants.

"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.

Iddat case: PTI lawyers attack Khawar Maneka
Judge Arujmand's letter to IHC Registrar. — Reporter

Furthermore, Judge Arujmand has written to Islamabad High Court registrar apprising the court of the situation and maintaining that it will not be appropriate for him to announce the verdict owing Maneka's repeated expression of no-confidence.

The judge, in his letter, also complained of repeated disruptions by Maneka and his lawyers during the hearing.

The judge also requested the registrar to transfer Bushra and Khan's appeals against conviction to another court.

Inappropriate, obscene words

Speaking to the media persons outside the court, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan said that Maneka used inappropriate words in the courtroom and claimed that the judge was pressurised against hearing the iddat case and was even told to hear the said case.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub noted that they showed restraint despite the provocative language used by Maneka.

Stressing that Maneka spoke obscenities in the court, PTI leader Shibli Faraz said that delay tactics were being used in such politically framed cases.

Calling on the judges to ensure justice, Faraz expressed hope that they would get justice from the courts.