LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif filed a petition on Wednesday seeking early verdict in a defamation case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
Shehbaz said that Imran was intentionally using delaying tactics to prolong the case, adding that the verdict in this regard should be announced in the next 90 days, under the provisions of the law.
The chief minister said in the petition that non-appearance of the PTI chief in the defamation case was delaying the hearing of the case, and requested the honourable court to announce a verdict within the next 90 days. The petition further stated that daily hearings of the case could also be held.
Earlier, Imran Khan had alleged in a public gathering that Shehbaz Sharif had offered him Rs10 billion to keep mum about the Panama Papers case against Nawaz Sharif and his family.
It merits mention here that the case was adjourned till December 5 after Wednesday’s court proceedings. The case was filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Azfar Sultan under Section 4 (defamation) and 9 (remedies) of Defamation Ordinance, 2002.
The petition stated 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].”
The same petition also stated that Imran had claimed to have received Rs 10,000,000,000 offer from Shehbaz in exchange for maintaining silence in regard to Panama case.
Addressing a gathering on April 25 at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore, the PTI chief had alleged to have received an offer from Punjab chief minister in connection with the Panama Papers case. Later in an interview with a private news channel, Imran Khan had admitted to have received an offer from a person who was close to Shehbaz Sharif, but had refused to reveal the identity of the person in question.