An additional district and sessions judge on Wednesday issued a notice to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan to reply to a defamation suit filed by former caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi by August 23. Sethi has sought Rs1 billion as damages from Khan for allegedly launching a character assassination campaign.
The judge also issued a notice for August 23 on an application seeking a gag order on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief.
Sethi filed a defamation suit through his counsel, Advocate Usman G Rashid. He said that Khan had launched a character assassination campaign against him via electronic, print and social media, claiming that he [Sethi] was responsible for electoral irregularities in 35 constituencies.
He said Khan said that he had been nominated caretaker chief minister so he could rig the elections in favour of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Khan also said that he had been appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board as a ‘reward’ for rigging the elections, Sethi said.
“In actuality, I was nominated as caretaker chief minister by the Pakistan Peoples Party government at the Centre.”
Sethi said that the allegations levelled against him by Imran Khan were unsubstantiated, libelous and scandalous.
“Despite my repeated demands for evidence to prove his allegations against me, Khan was unable to present a shred of evidence to substantiate his ridiculous claims,” he said.
The petitioner sent Khan a legal notice on February 17 asking him to present evidence of the alleged conversation between the plaintiff and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership establishing the veracity of the allegations against Sethi.
The former caretaker chief minister requested the court to restrain Khan from defaming him, direct him to tender an apology, direct Khan to publish an apology, direct him to pay Rs300,000 as general damages and Rs1 billion as special damages.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.
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