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Lawyers asked to present arguments on defamation suit against PM

LAHORE: A local court here on Friday adjourned a Rs10 billion defamation suit against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Last year, PMl-N president Shehbaz Sharif went to the court, suing the prime minister for Rs10 billion for accusing him of offering a bribe to stay silent over the Panama Papers allegations against the Sharif family.

During the course of the hearing today, the judge directed lawyers of both parties to come prepared on next hearing to forward their arguments on an application challenging jurisdiction of the court to hear this suit.

The hearing was adjourned till Nov 3.

In his suit, Shehbaz Sharif said, “The defendant (Imran Khan) levelled maliciously false, baseless and unfounded allegations against him.” “He also levelled the same allegations no less than three times in television programme aired 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 levelled allegations, his client is entitled to a claim of compensation.

The PTI chairman had earlier claimed that the Punjab CM had offered him Rs10 billion through one of his close associates to stay silent over the Panamagate case.

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