In Islamabad, a district and sessions court suggested on Thursday that it may deliver a verdict on the appeals challenging the sentences of PTI founder Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, later in the day. Judge Shahrukh Arjumand presided over the hearing of the appeals against the seven-year sentences of the former prime minister and the former first lady. PTI counsel Usman Riaz Gul and the assistant counsel to Khawar Maneka’s lawyer, Rizwan Abbasi, appeared before the court. Abbasi’s assistant counsel informed the court that Abbasi needed to present arguments but stated that the necessary record was unavailable. In response, the judge instructed the PTI lawyer to finalize arguments and directed Maneka’s assistant counsel to inform Abbasi that he must present his arguments via video link by 1 pm. The judge also hinted at the possibility of deciding on the appeals against the couple’s sentence on the same day. Following these remarks, the court adjourned the hearing until 1 pm.

Earlier, on April 30, a district and sessions court in Islamabad had dismissed Maneka’s plea seeking the transfer of the iddat case to another court. Maneka’s plea cited a lack of trust in the presiding judge, Shahrukh Arjumand, and requested the transfer. However, Judge Arjumand disagreed, asserting that he had never lost trust as a judge during his career. Imran and Bushra’s lawyers had previously expressed dissatisfaction with what they considered to be delaying tactics employed by Khawar Maneka’s lead counsel, as well as a court decision to postpone the iddat case.

The case stems from a filing by Maneka, Bushra’s former husband, in November 2023, alleging that the former PM and first lady had married without Bushra observing the mandatory waiting period—iddat—required for Muslim women between two marriages. On February 3, 2024, a trial court sentenced Imran and Bushra to seven years in prison each for contracting the marriage during iddat. Subsequently, the PTI founder and his wife challenged the order in the Islamabad District and Sessions Court.

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