PESHAWAR: District and sessions judge Shehbar Khan here on Saturday asked the counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s chief Imran Khan to submit written evidence supporting his (Imran) allegations against the sacked provincial minister and leader of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Bakht Baidar Khan.
The judge issued the order after the PTI chief’s counsel submitted his written reply to a defamation suit filed against him by Mr Baidar.
In the written reply, Mr Imran had levelled allegations of misuse of office and corrupt practices against Mr Baidar while he was provincial minister. The judge fixed Feb 15 for next hearing with the direction that the defendant, Imran Khan, should furnish written evidence substantiating the allegations. Senior advocates Qazi Mohammad Anwer and Saadullah Marwat appeared for Mr Imran whereas Babar Khan Yousafzai appeared for the plaintiff.
Mr Baidar had filed the defamation suit seeking damages to the tune of Rs1 billion on account of defaming him through media by levelling allegation of corruption against him. The plaintiff claimed that the PTI chief had damaged his reputation and lowered his image in public eye by levelling baseless allegations against him.
The plaintiff was elected MPA on the ticket of QWP in May 11 general election. He along with another provincial minister hailing from QWP, Ibrar Hussain Tanoli, was sacked from the cabinet by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Nov 13 on the directives of Mr Imran. The chief minister was also ordered by Mr Imran to end alliance with QWP.
In his written reply, Mr Imran stated that after May 11 general election QWP became coalition partner of PTI and the plaintiff was awarded portfolio of population welfare and labour. It was stated in the reply that the plaintiff assumed to himself the post of chairman of Workers Welfare Board (WWB) without any legal justification. He alleged that Mr Baidar started exercising the powers of employment of staff, establishment of schools and their financial matters.
It was alleged that he had appointed 110 male and 85 female teachers in Working Folk Grammar Schools in Dir. It was added that at the behest of the plaintiff the WWB secretary, Tariq Awan, had recruited 557 teachers and other staff members from Oct 1 to Nov 8, 2013.
The defendant stated that on Oct 12, 2012 the plaintiff had reinstated the suspended deputy director works, Niamatullah Gandapur, and also released his salaries and other allowances of about Rs5 million for the period of his suspension. It was added that the plaintiff was provided an official vehicle which had been used by his brother and an amount of Rs0.7 million was received on account of fuel and maintenance of the said vehicle.
He stated that after all these irregularities committed by the plaintiff surfaced, the chief minister sacked him. He stated that the chief minister had exercised his constitutional powers and in that he was not answerable to any court. He requested the court to dismiss the suit as it was not maintainable.
The plaintiff, Mr Baidar, had stated that he belonged to a respectable family of Chakdara, Lower Dir, and Imran Khan had damaged his reputation in the eyes of public as well as people of his constituency. He contended that if there were any charges of corruption against him, he or his parliamentary party leader should have been informed about it, but in the present case they were kept in the dark and instead he was defamed by Imran Khan by levelling baseless allegations in the media.