Court upholds Imran’s sentences in Iddat case

Islamabad, June 28: A district and sessions court in Islamabad declined the pleas of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as his wife, Bushra Bibi, to suspend their seven-year sentences in the Iddat Case on Thursday, reported Dawn.
The verdict, which had been reserved on Tuesday was notably announced by Additional District and sessions judge (ADSJ) Afzal Majoka today.
Lawyers, women activists, and members of civil society all harshly condemned the Iddat conviction as a “blow to women’s right to dignity and privacy.”
The ruling had been met with protests in Islamabad by activists and criticism in Karachi by demonstrators who were against the “state’s intrusion into people’s private lives.
Prior to the general elections, on February 3, an Islamabad court condemned the couple to seven years in prison and fined them each PKR 500,000 for getting married during Bushra Bibi’s Iddat period.
The couple was given 14 years in prison in the Toshakhana case, while Imran and his foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, were given 10 years in prison in the Cypher case, the same week the verdict was rendered.
Imran and Qureshi were found not guilty in the Cypher case earlier this month, and the penalties in the Toshakhana case were suspended in April.
The case was previously being heard by District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand, who had reserved the verdict in May.
On the day of the anticipated announcement, he requested that the matter be transferred, citing Maneka’s plea to be removed from the appeals panel. The case was then moved to ADSJ Majoka.
Nonetheless, Bushra Bibi’s attorney had petitioned the Islamabad High Court for her release on bond and a sentence suspension. In a related development, the sessions court was instructed by the Islamabad High Court to rule on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder’s and his wife’s pleas within ten days.