Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik does not want to tarnish the image of the girl whom he had taken to be Ayesha Siddiqui by releasing her photographs in public, his lawyer said here Monday.
“Shoaib has specifically told me not to disclose the photographs of the girl as it will harm her image,” senior advocate Ramesh Gupta told IANS.
The cricketer approached the 60-year-old New Delhi-based Gupta, who has appeared in high-profile cases like the BMW hit-and-run case and the Rahul Mahajan drug overdose case, to represent him.
Gupta said that Shoiab had told him not to file for anticipatory bail since he was cooperating with the Hyderabad police’s investigations into the complaint by Ayesha, who claims to be his first wife.
“I have talked to Shoaib and he said that he is cooperating with police and that there was no need of filing an anticipatory bail application,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the cricketer insisted he was innocent and would not leave India until he was cleared of charges of marrying Ayesha that emerged soon after the announcement of his April 15 marriage to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.
Shoaib has rejected Ayesha’s demand for a divorce, saying he signed a ‘nikahnama’ or marriage document for marrying a girl whose photographs he had been sent.
Gupta said that any legal action against Ayesha would be decided Tuesday when Malik’s brother-in-law Imran Zafar arrives in Delhi. He confirmed that the cricketer’s passport has been seized by Hyderabad police.
“We have served a legal notice on Ayesha’s family in 2008 as well but did not pursue it further as everything went on smoothly but now when so much hype is created, we will definitely find a suitable legal remedy,” Gupta said.
Ayesha Sunday lodged a police complaint in Hyderabad against Shoaib for cheating her and going ahead with his second marriage with Sania without divorcing her. She filed the complaint under sections 498 A (harassment), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Questioning the basis of the case lodged by the police, Gupta said: “If the marriage had taken place, only then would section 498 A be applicable. But in this case, it is a perfect case of mistaken identity.”
The lawyer further added that if the marriage between Ayesha and Shoaib took place, then how could a case of cheating be lodged.
“At this stage, when both parties (Ayesha and Shoaib) are issuing contrasting statements, nothing can be said, but a compromise formula can always be worked out,” Gupta said.
The Siddiquis claim that Shoaib married their daughter Ayesha in 2002, but has not divorced her till date.
The Hyderabad-based family had also produced pictures of Shoaib-Ayesha’s nikahnama (marriage certificate) which states that their marriage was solemnised on June 3, 2002.
Shoaib, on the other hand, has denied being married to Ayesha. He, however, admitted to talking to a girl named Ayesha over the telephone, but said he has never seen or met the girl.
“Even if they did so, it is not legally binding on my client’s part. I have consulted a few Muslim priests and obtained documents from them which also substantiate our claims of the marriage being illegal,” Gupta said.