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Friday July 19, 2024

Islamabad court throws out ex-CJP's Rs20bn lawsuit against Imran Khan

"Complaint stands rejected having been filed beyond limitation period stipulated under Ordinance 2002," reads verdict

By Arfa Feroz Zake
March 16, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan (left) and former Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. —AFP/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan (left) and former Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. —AFP/File

An Islamabad district and sessions court Saturday threw out a Rs20 billion defamation case filed against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan by former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after almost a decade.

In July 2014, the former CJP sent a defamation notice worth Rs20 billion to Khan for accusing him of rigging in the 2013 general election.

Chaudhry’s lawyers had warned that legal proceedings would be initiated against Khan if he failed to apologise for the allegations he had levelled earlier against their client.

However, the former top judge formally filed the lawsuit against the PTI founder in the court of district and sessions judge in the federal capital in January 2015.

In his lawsuit, the former CJP stated that the PTI founder used derogatory remarks against him in his statement published on June 27, 2014. It further claimed that Khan levelled baseless and fabricated allegations against the judiciary.

After prolonged proceedings, the court dismissed the lawsuit against Khan, declaring the defamation notice as time-barred.

In her verdict, Additional District Judge Islamabad-West Haseena Saqlain said that the complaint stands rejected having been filed beyond the limitation period stipulated under Section 12 of the Ordinance 2002.

The judge noted that according to the plaintiff’s claim, Khan used derogatory remarks against Chaudhry on June 27, 2014. The complainant moved the court on January 20, 2015, after a span of six months and 24 days.

“The presumption is now that the plaintiff was aware of the alleged defamatory remarks on the date of publication. Consequently, the filing the instant suit beyond the limitation period stipulated under Section 12 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 is not permissible…,” read the verdict.