• LHC told no case registered against former first lady
• Accountability court grants her pre-arrest interim bail in Al-Qadir Trust case
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday clubbed the petition of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, with the petition of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar’s son in the audio leaks case.
Justice Babar Sattar of the IHC was hearing Bushra Bibi’s petition seeking a restraining order against the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) ongoing probe into her purported leaked audio with PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari related to the sale of Toshakhana gifts.
During the hearing, her counsel Sardar Latif Khan Khosa pointed out that a similar matter related to the audio leak of Najam Saqib, Mr Nisar’s son, was pending before the judge and requested the court to club the two petitions. Justice Sattar accepted the request and adjourned the hearing on both petitions until Sept 18.
In her petition, Bushra Bibi contended that the electronic media aired her alleged audio with ulterior motives. She said the audio was being aired in connivance with the electronic media and law enforcement agencies in violation of Article 4 of the Constitution, which ensures the “right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with law”.
She cited a Supreme Court judgement stating the federal government or any other state agency had no authority or jurisdiction to record private conversations between citizens and undertake surveillance.
‘No case against Bushra’
Meanwhile, the FIA and the Punjab police told the Lahore High Court on Tuesday that no case had been registered against Bushra Bibi.
A law officer filed the replies on behalf of the FIA and the police, saying that neither a case nor an investigation was pending against the petitioner.
Justice Alia Neelum was hearing Bushra Bibi’s petition challenging her possible arrest and seeking details of all cases registered against her.
The judge adjourned the hearing so that other respondents, including NAB and the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), submit replies.
The judge warned the respondents against lodging any new case or opening an investigation against Bushra Bibi once they submitted the reports.
Bail in Al-Qadir case
Meanwhile, an accountability court granted pre-arrest interim bail to Bushra Bibi in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.
The accountability judge, Mohammad Bashir, allowed the bail until Sept 26 against Rs100,000 surety bonds and also directed NAB to produce the record on the next date of hearing.
NAB’s prosecutor, Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi, informed the court that the bureau chairman had not issued arrest warrants against Bushra Bibi, nor was her custody required for the time being.
Separately, ADSJ Judge Tahir Abbasi Sipra also extended her bail until Sept 26 in a case related to making forged receipts of Toshakhana gifts.
Wajih Ahmad Sheikh in Lahore and Amjad Iqbal in Taxila also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2023