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IHC doesn’t extend deadline for decision in Iddat case

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ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday directed the judge hearing appeals of former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, against their conviction in the Iddat case to conclude proceedings within the stipulated time frame.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurang­zeb dismissed the petition of Ms Bushra’s ex-husband, Khawar Fareed Maneka, to revise the order that had set a month’s deadline for the trial court to conclude the hearing.

Mr Maneka was seeking an extension in the deadline till after the cou­rt’s summer vacations, say­­­ing his lead counsel intended to go on a pilgrimage during Muharram. Justice Aurangzeb however rejected the request for extension till Septem­ber as the counsel of Mr Khan and his spouse opposed the plea.

Later, while addressing media persons at the National Press Club, Islamabad, Mr Maneka cited various religious scholars to substantiate his claim of the Iddat period being of 90 days. He said his ex-wife married Mr Khan during her Iddat period and did not give any plausible reason for the haste.

He said the haste “depri­ved him of the opportunity to reconcile with his ex-wife as provided in the relig­ion and law”. He contradicted the claim of Mr Khan and Ms Bushra’s counsels on the Iddat period and termed them “un-Islamic”.

Mr Khan and his wife were convicted and handed a sentence of seven years in February for contracting marriage during the former first lady’s Iddat period.

The punishment was handed down on the complaint filed by Mr Maneka. Late last month, an Islamabad district and sessions court turned down the pleas of ex-premier Khan and his wife to suspend their seven-year sentences in the Iddat case.