Imran and Bushra Bibi handed 7-year jail sentences in Iddat case


An Islamabad court on Saturday sentenced former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in jail each in a case related to their marriage during the latter’s Iddat period.

Senior civil judge Qudratullah announced the verdict on the complaint filed by Bushra’s former husband Khawar Fareed Maneka in a makeshift court at the Adiala district jail. The court also imposed Rs500,000 fines each on the couple.

According to the written order, the two were found guilty under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) Section 496 (marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage)

According to legal precedence, Section 496 is considered an offence completely distinct from zina, an offence that ensues from not having a contracted marriage.

As per Pakistan’s superior courts, formalising nikah during iddat does not entail annulment of marriage as that requires a separate declaration; it will be treated as irregular but not void, in terms of legal fiction.

Imran and Bushra Bibi can appeal the verdict in the high court — something that the PTI says is already planning to do.

The charges against the couple were framed by Judge Qudratullah on a complaint filed in November by Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Farid Maneka under PPC Sections 34 (common intention), 496 and 496-B (fornication).

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