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Shoaib not to file anticipatory bail

The beleaguered Shoaib Malik will not file an anticipatory bail application in the case lodged by Ayesha Siddiqui.

Both the families on Tuesday geared up for a legal battle in a much publicised marriage row which showed no immediate signs of a settlement.

The former Pakistan captain also has no intentions of filing a defamation suit against Ayesha as of now and his brother-in-law Imran Malik made it clear that the marriage with Indian tennis star Sania Mirza will go ahead as scheduled on April 15.

After the dramatic developments in the last few days which has cast a shadow on the impending marriage of the two celebrities, Imran flew in to Delhi on Tuesday morning to chalk out the future course of action with his lawyer.

While there was no fresh legal hassles for Shoaib, who is currently in Hyderabad to clear his name in the ongoing marriage row, the police are yet to hand over the Pakistani cricketer's passport which they had taken for verification following an FIR lodged by the Siddiqui family.

"We are not moving any anticipatory bail applications as Malik is cooperating with the police in the investigation.

"However, we may go for quashing of the FIR afterwards," Imran said at a press conference.

Shoaib's lawyer Ramesh Gupta said a representation has been submitted to the Commissioner of Police in Hyderabad and they are hopeful to get his passport back soon.

"Shoaib's passport is lying with the police and the commissioner told us that it has not been seized but they just need it for verification. Shoaib is any way here till his (April 15) marriage and we hope they would probably keep a photocopy and return the passport," Gupta said.

In Hyderabad, the spotlight shifted on Ayesha with a police team visiting her residence for questioning as part of the enquiry.

Imran was bombarded with questions on Shoaib's alleged 'nikahnama', their earlier visits to Hyderabad and future course of action.

Asked how could Shoaib sign a 'nikahnama', invalid or not, without having seen the girl, Imran said, "Had Shoaib not made the blunder, this situation would not have arisen."

Asked how they plan to go about the job of defending Shoaib, Imran said, "See, this is not such a complicated thing that you need a strategy. Some people are just trying to make it look so complicated.

Imran insisted Ayesha, who is seeking divorce from Shoaib before the cricketer marries Sania, should come out of her self-imposed exile and not fight a war from behind the camera.

"She should come out. We even don't know the real girl who is making all these allegations," he said.

On being asked as to whether the proposed marriage of Shoaib with Sania would be the first one or the second, Imran said, "This is the first marriage of my brother-in-law. Mere existence of 'nikahnama' is not sufficient to establish the marriage."

Citing Islamic law prevalent in Pakistan, he said, for a valid marriage, a group of people (majlis) should witness the nikah ceremony in which 'qazi' (priest) ensures the identity of the bride and bridegroom.

To a question as to whether he himself had ever met Ayesha, he said, "I had visited their place at Hyderabad in 2004 and met Ayesha but I could not meet the girl whose photograph was e-mailed to my brother-in-law."

On being quizzed as to why the family of Malik did not try to bring the bride back to Pakistan for such a long period, Imran said, "Ayesha, who posed herself as elder sister of bride, did not come forward for the purpose."

Ayesha claims Shoaib married her over phone before dumping her due to her weight problems without a divorce.

But Shoaib maintains that the Ayesha who is making these allegations is not the one he committed himself to during an internet affair that grew over telephone conversations.

Pak activist Burney to visit India

Renowned Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney on Tuesday said that he would be visiting India soon on the request of the Siddiqui family to unearth the truth behind their claims that cricketer Sohaib Malik is already married to their daughter Ayesha.

Burney, a former minister for human rights, told PTI that he has been contacted by the Siddiqui family to help them in their legal battle against the beleaguered Pakistani all-rounder and would be flying to India in the next three to four days.

"Ayesha's mother contacted me and told me the details about how Shoaib Malik had committed a fraud with her daughter. If what she says turns out to be true then it is shameful that one of our top cricketers behaved in this manner," Burney said.

"I have previous experience of interacting with the Indian people and their police and justice system. I am going to India to find out what is the truth behind this whole affair because it is bringing a bad name to Pakistan," he said.

"This is also an issue of human dignity and women's rights," he added.

Burney said hundreds of women had contacted him through email and telephone calls for the last few days asking him to travel to India to find out the truth.

Burney, who took up the cause of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh last year, said he had applied for an Indian visa on an urgent basis.

Uncertainty looms large over the high-profile Shoaib-Sania marriage scheduled on April 15 in Hyderabad after the recent dramatic developments which saw Ayesha lodging a police complaint against Shoaib on Sunday.

She filed the complaint under sections 498 A (harassment), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, following which the police has seized Shoaib's passport.
 
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