PESHAWAR: Giving last chance for submission of reply in a damages suit, the Additional District and Sessions Judge on Saturday re-issued notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan to submit reply or the court would decide the case as ex-parte after getting a public notice published in newspaper.
The court again issued notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in the damages suit filed by former PTI Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) for defaming her by levelling accusations that she had sold her vote for Rs40 million in the Senate election held in March.
The former PTI MPA from Chitral district, Bibi Fauzia, whose membership was suspended by the PTI, had filed the suit for damages through her lawyer Ghufranullah Shah.
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Shah Waliullah, issued the notice to PTI chief directing him to submit his reply in the case. September 29 was fixed for the next hearing in the suit.
Earlier, the court had issued three notices to Imran Khan but no lawyer appeared on his behalf and a reply wasn’t filed in the court.
The court observed that this is the last notice for submission of reply. He said if PTI chief failed in submitting reply then the plaintiff has to publish a public notice in newspaper for obtaining ex-parte decision.
The plaintiff Bibi Fauzia sought an order of the court against the PTI chairman to decree Rs5 billion as damages for defaming her.
It was submitted that the plaintiff was a law-abiding citizen and belonged to a respectable family. She claimed she had an excellent reputation in the political and social circles. She reminded that she was made parliamentary secretary for tourism and allied services by the previous PTI government in KP.
The plaintiff claimed that in the Senate election she followed the party policy and cast her vote for the PTI candidates nominated for general and reserved seats.
She stated that the defendant Imran Khan started uttering, spreading and resorting to the publication, communication and circulation of “maliciously false, baseless and oral” statements against the plaintiff.
She recalled that Imran Khan accused her of horse-trading by way of selling her vote for money through the electronic, print and social media. The plaintiff said she clarified her position by taking oath on the Holy Quran to deny the allegations. She said her lawsuit was also supported by an affidavit on oath.
Bibi Fauzia stated that she replied on April 28 to a show-cause notice issued by the party leadership. She claimed that an inquiry committee was formed under PTI leader Naeemul Haq, but he failed to call its meeting. She maintained that a second committee headed by Asad Qaiser, former speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, also never held its meeting.
She said after waiting for a long period she sent legal notice to PTI chairman through her lawyer on May 22, asking him to tender an apology or pay damages for defaming her.
Bibi Fauzia told The News after filing damages suit in the court that she wanted to prove herself as innocent in the court as the defendant had failed to decide her case after levelling serious allegations because he had no evidence against her.