ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked if the authorities sought permission from former prime minister Imran Khan before converting his Bani Gala residence into a sub-jail.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurang­zeb made the remarks on Thursday while hearing the petition of Mr Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, to transfer her from the Bani Gala residence to Adiala Jail.

She is currently serving a 14- and seven-year term in the Toshakhana reference and the iddat case, respectively.

The petition stated that Ms Bibi was shifted to the Bani Gala residence despite not making any request to designate her house as a sub-jail and that the action was implemented by the Islamabad chief commissioner exercising his discretion.

The former first lady stated that she doesn’t feel secure at the house where she claimed to have been confined alone as unidentified persons roamed around the place.

Court seeks report on Bushra Bibi’s living conditions

During the hearing on Thursday, Jus­tice Aurangzeb asked if the district adm­inistration sought the owner’s permission, which was a precondition, before declaring private premises a sub-jail.

Ms Bibi’s counsel, Usman Gill, informed the judge that the former prime minister owned the house and it was converted into a sub-jail without his permission.

The judge further inquired whether the convict was allowed to walk outside of her room, to which her counsel replied in negative.

She has been confined to a room and not allowed to move outside, the counsel claimed.

Later, the court directed a senior official of Adiala Jail to visit the sub-jail and sought a report on Ms Bibi’s living condition and her meetings with her spouse after their arrest.

The former prime minister and his wife were sentenced by a special court in the case of illegal sale of state gifts on Jan 31.

With Mr Khan already imprisoned, Ms Bibi surrendered to jail authorities on the same day at 10am.

How­ever, she was moved to Mr Khan’s Bani Gala home after it was declared sub-jail in a late-night notification.

The shifting of Ms Bibi to the Bani Gala residence has been under discussion for weeks as she and her husband denied submitting any application to declare the residence as a sub-jail.

In an earlier hearing, the Adiala Jail administration opposed moving her back to the prison, claiming that overcrowding posed security threats for the former first lady.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2024

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