Lahore (November 04, 2017): A civil court on Saturday adjourned hearing of the defamation suit filed by Chief Minister Punjab against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan over his allegation relating to offering Rs10 billion for not pursuing Panama Case till Nov 22, 2017.
The court heard the defamation suit filed by Shahbaz Sharif. Imran counsel appeared before the court.
The counsel stated that lead counsel Baber Awan was not available due to his other engagement so they should be given time for preparation to advance arguments in the case.
The court while accepting the peal adjourned further hearing of the case till No 22, 107
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had filed a suit through his counsel, Mustafa Ramday, against Imran for alleging he was offered Rs10 billion by a close associate of the chief minister to drop to Panama case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The case was filed in the court of Lahore additional sessions judge Azfar Sultan under section 4 (defamation actionable) and 9 (remedies) of Defamation Ordinance, 2002. A response was sought from Imran by August 21.
The petition states that “the facts and circumstances giving rise to the filing of the instant suit are that since the last week of April 2017, the Defendant [Imran Khan] started uttering, spreading and resorting to the publication, communication and circulation of maliciously false, baseless and unfounded oral statements and representations against the Plaintiff [Shehbaz].”
Moreover, it states that Imran claimed Shehbaz “offered to pay a sum of Rs10,000,000,000 to the Defendant in exchange for his withdrawing/backing-off from, or remaining silent on the issue of the Panama Papers case.”
The suit also states that Imran made the “utterly false statement” on different television shows as well as at a public gathering.
On April 25, Khan, during a gathering at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore, alleged that he had been made an offer regarding the Panama case.
“Just imagine how much money he offered me to be silent — Rs10 billion! If he can offer me this much money, just imagine how much he could offer others. That is why if we don’t maintain public pressure on this issue, then after two months it will be dragged to the next year,” Khan had claimed.
In an interview televised following the statement, Khan refused to reveal the name of the person who made the offer but did state that this person was close to the Punjab chief minister.