LAHORE: A civil court extended the date on Monday for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to submit response in the Rs10 billion defamation suit filed by Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif.
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.
Imran’s lawyer Babar Awan submitted advocate letter on behalf of his client in the case today.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case until Oct 9, giving Imran last chance to submit response.
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.
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.”
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.