Court directed Imran to respond in 14 days over Shahbaz defamation suit

LAHORE: A local court on Monday directed the counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan to respond to Rs10 billion defamation suit of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Shahbaz sued the PTI chairman for Rs10 billion damages for accusing him of offering a bribe to stay silent over the Panama Papers allegations against the Sharif family.

During the hearing, Additional District and Session Judge Azfar Sultan directed Advocate Babar Awan to submit comments of the PTI chief on the next hearing on Oct 09.

In his lawsuit, CM Shahbaz said,“The defendant (Imran Khan) leveled maliciously false, baseless and unfounded allegations against him.” “He also leveled the same allegations no less than three times in television programme ‘Off the Record’ aired on ARY News on April 26 this year.”

The plaintiff said that he had served a legal notice through his counsel on the defendant on May 8, 2017, under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 calling upon him to tender a proper apology within 14 days of the receipt of the notice. Upon failing, he warned, he will initiate legal action against the defendant for recovery of Rs10 billion as damages under the law. However, Khan failed to tender an apology.

Sharif’s lawyer said that considering the seriousness of defamatory allegations and consistency with which he leveled allegations, his client is entitled to a claim of compensation.

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