PESHAWAR: A local court on Saturday summoned Prime Minister Imran Khan for the fourth time in a defamation suit filed by former MPA Fauzia Bibi over his charge of Senate election horse trading against her.
The summons issued by additional district and sessions judge Shah Waliullah Hamid Hashmi asked the premier to appear before the court in person or through counsel on Sept 29 warning if the order isn’t complied with, ex-parte proceedings will begin against Imran Khan in the case.
Ms Fauzia was the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf member in the previous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Ex-MPA had moved court over horse trading charge
She has filed the suit for recovery of damages to the tune of Rs500 billion from the premier for defaming her by leveling ‘baseless’ allegations.
Syed Ghufranullah Shah, lawyer for the plaintiff, said despite issuance of summons thrice, Imran Khan didn’t appear before the court and therefore, the court should send summons to the Prime Minister’s House for delivery to the defendant.
The suit was filed in June this year under the Defamation Ordinance, 2002. The only defendant in it is PTI chief Imran Khan, who became the prime minister after the July 25 general election.
Ms Fauzia said in the March 3 Senate polls, she had followed the PTI directions for casting vote in favour of all party candidates named for general and reserved seats for women and technocrats.
She said after the Senate polls, Imran Khan started uttering, spreading and resorting to publication, communication and circulation of maliciously false, baseless and unfounded oral statements and representation against her.
“Through all sources of expression, Imran accused me of horse trading by way of selling vote for money, through all electronic, print and social media, which was broadcast on all TV and radio channels, uploaded and posted on social media and published in all leading newspapers,” she said.
The plaintiff said no sooner had she received information about the defamatory statement, she clarified her position by taking oath on the Holy Quran and denied allegations.
She added that acting on the directives of the defendant, the PTI Secretariat issued a show cause notice to her which she replied to within the stipulated time.
Ms Fauzia said she had requested an open inquiry into the matter and sought an opportunity of hearing to contest horse trading charge.
She said the defendant failed to conduct the sought-after inquiry and show any proof or source of information supporting his defamatory statement against her.
“The defamatory statement has totally damaged my political, social and family life besides destroying my personality,” she said.
Ms Fauzia said she later served a legal notice on Imran Khan under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance seeking an apology from him but he failed to comply with it.
Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018