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Defamation case: Imran Khan’s counsel challenges court jurisdiction

LAHORE: Session Court Lahore resumed hearing of defamation suit filed by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif against PTI chairman Imran Khan. Khan’s counsel challenged the court jurisdiction.

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 the Panama case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

During the hearing, Imran’s counsel claimed that the case is out of the court’s jurisdiction.

The lawyer asked the court to further extend the hearing of the case, however, the court turned it down.

The sessions court subsequently adjourned the hearing of the case until October 19.

In the last hearing on September 25, the court had extended the date for Imran to submit a response in the case. In the same hearing, Imran’s lawyer, Babar Awan, had submitted the advocate letter on behalf of his client.

The case was filed in the court of Lahore additional sessions judge Azfar Sultan under Sections 4  and 9 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.”