ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued a notice to the complainant and prosecution on a petition seeking the suspension of the sentence of former prime minister Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi in Iddat case.

The couple were convicted by a senior civil judge on Feb 3 for contracting marriage during Ms Bibi’s Iddat period. They were sentenced for seven years in jail with a fine of Rs500,000 each.

They challenged the conviction before district and sessions judge Shahrukh Arjumand, who recused himself at a time when the hearing had been concluded and the court was supposed to announce verdict.

Subsequently, the case was transferred to another judge Afzal Majoka.

However, the counsel for Bushra Bibi filed a petition before the IHC seeking her release on bail and suspension of her sentence.

The registrar office raised some administrative objections to the petition on the grounds that the petitioner was seeking same relief from a sessions court.

While hearing arguments of her counsel on the petition, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb removed the administrative objections. He also remarked that the reason for which Judge Arjumand had recused himself was “not justified”.

Counsel for the petitioner Salman Akram Raja informed the court that the judge had already fixed a date for the verdict after concluding the proceedings.

It was scheduled to be announced on May 29, but the verdict could not be pronounced, he argued.

The counsel said her case was distinct, noting she had been sentenced to seven years in prison. He urged the IHC to exercise its authority to suspend the sentence.

Further hearing has been adjourned till June 13.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2024

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