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Imran serves Rs10bn defamation notice on Patel

The PTI chief Asks federal health minister to withdraw allegations within 15 days, tender apology

By Mumtaz Alvi
May 31, 2023
Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel (left) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — INP/AFP/File
Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel (left) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — INP/AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan Tuesday served a legal notice of Rs10 billion on Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel under the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 for levelling charges against him based on a fake medical report.

Last week, the government had shared confidential medical reports of Imran’s tests, supposedly conducted while he was in custody earlier this month, claiming that no fracture was found on his legs while traces of alcohol and an illegal drug were found in his urine sample. The details were shared by Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel at a press conference in Karachi.

According to a copy of the defamation notice, available with The News, Patel has been asked to withdraw his allegations within 15 days and tender an unconditional apology or pay Rs10 billion in damages, which will be donated to Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. The federal minister has been asked to refrain from repeating and making any further defamatory comments/ remarks against Imran.

The notice has been sent to the PPP minister, “on account of dissemination and circulation of wrongful, baseless, false misleading, erroneous, malicious and defamatory information/ fact… during his news conference on May 26, 2023.

“In case of your failure to do the needful within 15 days our client will be compelled to institute legal proceedings and the cost of such proceedings and the risk as to consequences therefore shall be entirely on your account,” reads the notice, addressing the minister.

“The press conference was watched in Pakistan as well as all over the world through electronic media channels, YouTube and various other social media platforms. Moreover, details regarding the press conference were also published in newspapers nationally as well as internationally,” the notice said.

It said that Imran had sustained a head injury on the day of his “illegal arrest” but there was no mention of it in the medical report shared by the minister and that the medical report had emphasised a lot on Imran’s mental state but no details were provided of an examination being conducted in this regard.

The notice said that Patel made the remarks “knowingly, consciously, willingly, deliberately and maliciously: the minister’s remarks were also in violation of the standards and ethics which a member of the federal cabinet must possess”. It emphasized that Patel’s defamatory claims had caused damage to Imran’s goodwill, injury to his reputation and had adversely affected his honour. “Likewise, you (Patel) have also caused emotional trauma, mental agony and anguish and distress to our client (Imran),” the notice says and calls on the minister to retract his statements “in the same mode and manner in which he made them in the first place and tender an unconditional apology and admit you have misstated”.