Legal Complexity Surrounding Bushra Bibi’s Marriages: Contrasting Perspectives in Court

In a recent hearing at the Islamabad High Court, Rizwan Raja Abbasi, the former husband of Bushra Bibi, asserted that contracting a marriage during the ‘iddah’ period (waiting period after divorce or spouse’s death) is not inherently illegal but, in fact, voidable. This statement came during the proceedings of Bushra Bibi’s application challenging the validity of her marriage during the ‘iddah’ period.

Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri presided over the hearing, where Salman Akram Raja, representing Bushra Bibi, and Shoaib Shahin, the counsel for Khawar Maneka, presented arguments. Rizwan Raja Abbasi, representing Maneka, cited the withdrawal of the initial complaint by a person named Hanif, who had initially filed a complaint against the marriage during the ‘iddah’ period.

Shoaib Shahin argued that since the first complaint was withdrawn, the subsequent application challenging the marriage during ‘iddah’ should also be withdrawn. Responding to this, Rizwan Raja Abbasi questioned why, if the first complaint was withdrawn, a second marriage ceremony took place during the ‘iddah’ period. He emphasized that they have witnesses who can testify that the marriage was solemnized again during this period.

Salman Akram Raja stated that the court should focus on the trial and requested the court to record statements of the witnesses. Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri directed that the case should be put on trial, and the court will consider recording statements during the trial.

Rizwan Raja Abbasi further argued that if the first marriage during the ‘iddah’ period was deemed valid, why was a second marriage conducted? He pointed out that the witness, Mufti Saeed, who conducted the marriage ceremony, had already given a statement verifying the second marriage.

The court, headed by Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, decided to proceed with the trial, withholding the recording of statements for the trial stage. Rizwan Raja Abbasi challenged this decision, prompting Justice Jahangiri to suggest presenting the matter before Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.

The legal complexities surrounding Bushra Bibi’s marriages highlight the intricacies of Islamic family law and the need for a thorough examination of the circumstances. The court’s decision to proceed with the trial indicates that the matter will be thoroughly investigated to determine the legality of the marriages during the ‘iddah’ period.