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Lahore High Court Grants Protective Bail to Bushra Bibi in Al Qadir Trust Case

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) has granted protective bail to Bushra Bibi, the former first lady, until May 23 in the Al Qadir Trust case, the same case in which Imran Khan, her husband, was recently arrested. The decision comes after Imran Khan’s arrest was deemed “unlawful” by the apex court, leading to his release on bail until May 17 by the Islamabad High Court.

Accompanied by Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi appeared for the hearing, with security guards holding up a protective white sheet to shield the couple as they entered the courtroom. The two-member bench, consisting of Justice Shahbaz Ali Rizvi and Justice Shakil Ahmad, presided over the case.

At the start of the hearing, the court expressed disappointment over Bushra Bibi’s delayed appearance. Justice Rizvi cautioned the petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Khawaja Harris, to maintain the sanctity of the court, and inquired about the petitioner’s whereabouts.

Apologizing for the delay, the counsel assured the court that the petitioner would arrive shortly. However, Justice Rizvi expressed his disapproval of making the court wait, stating that such behavior would not be tolerated. He set a deadline of 2:15 pm and warned that the plea would be dismissed at 2:16 pm.

After a brief adjournment, the hearing resumed, and Justice Rizvi reiterated the expectation that the petitioner should be present in court before the hearing commences. The judge labeled the late arrival as embarrassing for both the lawyer and the court. Bushra Bibi’s counsel assured the court that punctuality would be ensured in future hearings.

The Al Qadir Trust case revolves around allegations by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that Imran Khan and his wife received billions of rupees and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town’s Malik Riaz. The alleged exchange was said to be in return for allowing Riaz to adjust a settlement payment of Rs50 billion made to a British crime agency. This payment had been returned to Pakistan by the UK after being imposed as a fine by the Supreme Court.

The case gained attention following an alleged audio leak of a conversation between Malik Riaz and his daughter, where demands made by Farah Khan, a friend of Bushra Bibi, were discussed. The leaked conversation led to accusations against Imran Khan and his wife, sparking further controversies and political disputes.

The legal proceedings surrounding the Al Qadir Trust case have significant implications for both Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. The Lahore High Court’s decision to grant protective bail to Bushra Bibi will provide temporary relief, allowing her to avoid arrest until May 23. However, the case’s outcome and the court’s final verdict will determine the future course of action and legal implications for both individuals involved.

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