LAHORE: The PML-N leadership is yet to move against PTI chief Imran Khan for his allegation that he was offered Rs10 billion to keep quiet on the Panama Papers, as the timeframe for both the legal notices expired earlier this week.
The first legal notice was served on May 8 by Shehbaz Sharif through his counsel Khawaja Haris, whereas the second notice was served on May 10 by Hamza Shehbaz through his counsel Advocate Azam Nazeer Tarar.
Both the notices were served under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002, demanding a proper apology from Imran within 14 days. The notice demanded apology with the same prominence as the allegations or otherwise warned of legal action against the PTI chief for the recovery of a sum of Rs10 billion in damages.
Hamza Shehbaz serves defamation notice to Imran Khan
Imran had alleged at a rally in Peshawar that he was offered a bribe of Rs10 billion through a ‘common friend’ to keep mum over the Panama issue. Imran had also reiterated these allegations in various talk shows.
The PML-N leadership had vowed to take the matter to courts and asked Imran to either apologize or disclose the name of the ‘common friend’.
The PTI Punjab’s acting Information Secretary Raja Jahangir confirmed to The Express Tribune that Imran has yet to reply to the legal notices.
Shehbaz Sharif serves defamation notice to Imran Khan
Interestingly, the PML-N seems to have lost its resolve to proceed against Imran as damages suit is yet to be filed for either of the cases.
Azam Nazeer Tarar, counsel for Hamza Shehbaz, said, “We are giving Imran a fair chance to reply to the legal notice.” He added that he held a meeting with his client a few days back and another meeting was expected this week regarding the legal suit.
Tarar also said that his clients would hopefully file a suit claiming damages this week. He reiterated that his client was serious regarding the case.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris said, “I will proceed on the instructions of my client [Shehbaz Sharif].”
Govt offered me Rs10b to stay mum on Panama case, claims Imran
Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Information and Culture Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, when contacted, confirmed that the government would proceed with the case in the courts. He added that the delay was due to some ‘important engagements’ of the chief minister.
When the legal notices were served the PML-N leadership had said that this time around they would teach PTI a lesson for making false accusations. However, the delay in filing a defamation suit has cast a shadow of doubt over their resolve.
PTI’s Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood told The Express Tribune that his party was not duty-bound to reply to any of the legal notices.
He said that these legal notices, election commission petitions and court cases were a strategy of the ruling party to engage them in court cases and divert the attention from the Panama issue.
Courtesy: Express Tribune