PTI founder Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi on Tuesday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the notification declaring her Banigala residence a sub-jail and pleaded that she be moved to Adiala Jail.
Imran and Bushra Bibi were sentenced to 14 years in jail in the Toshakhana reference last week on charges of retaining expensive jewellery after paying a nominal price. Two days later, the two were also convicted and given a seven-year sentence for “contracting marriage during the ‘Iddat’ (period of waiting)”.
While the PTI founder has remained incarcerated at Adiala Jail, the government, in a late-night notification on January 31, turned Imran’s Banigala residence into a sub-jail for Bushra at the request of the jail superintendent.
The Islamabad police were also informed about deployment outside the sub-jail and directed to ensure the security of the convict, while prison officials would be deployed inside the sub-jail.
Subsequently, speculations started making rounds about an alleged deal which resulted in Bushra’s imprisonment at the Banigala residence. However, speaking to the media on Feb 1, Imran vehemently denied the rumours and said: “We do not want any deal”.
Meanwhile, Bushra had claimed that the military establishment had contacted her indirectly, but the initial dialogue was termed “futile”. She added that she avoided further contact with them.
In the petition filed today, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the former first lady said she wished to serve her sentence, like any other convict, within the premises of the Adiala Jail.
The plea named Islamabad’s chief commissioner, Adiala Jail superintendent, the inspector general of Punjab prisons and the state as respondents in the case.
It stated that Bushra was on her way to Adiala Jail on Jan 31 when she was “made aware of the judgment” in the Toshakhana reference.
“Consequently, the petitioner, being a law-abiding citizen of Pakistan with the utmost respect and regard for the law, proceeded to Adiala Jail to surrender before the competent authorities,” the petition said.
Upon reaching the prison, Bushra Bibi told the superintendent that she was ready to surrender but was made to wait from 10am to 9pm.
“After 9pm, the petitioner was informed that she had to be shifted to another prison to serve her sentence, however, she was brought to her residence at Banigala. Upon inquiry, the petitioner was informed by the concerned officials that her residence at Residential Compound […] had been declared as a sub-jail,” the petition stated.
It highlighted that no such request was made by Bushra in this regard, adding that Imran’s wife was “ready and willing” to serve her sentence in the designated ordinary jail premises.
The plea further stated that Bushra “does not feel safe to be confined alone in the premises of the sub-jail due to the potential security issues” and there had been “movement of unidentified people” around Banigala which compounded her “sense of insecurity”.
“The impugned notification goes against the principles of justice and equality as provided under Islam whereby each and every citizen is to be afforded equal treatment and no individual is superior to another or is to be given preferential treatment,” it said.
Moreover, the petition contended that the hearing of the Al-Qadir Trust case had been fixed for Feb 10 and transferring Bushra from Banigala to the accountability court would be a “hectic exercise”.
“In light of the facts and circumstances enumerated hereinabove, it is most humbly prayed that the impugned notification dated Jan 31 may be graciously set aside and the petitioner may be shifted to Adiala Jail to serve her sentence in the interest of justice,” it concluded.