Prime Minister Imran Khan through his advocate had requested a local court to adjourn the hearing of a defamation suit for an indefinite period of time that had been filed by the former PTI-MPA Fauzia Bibi. The court however rejected the said request and directed him to submit a reply till August 08, 2020. The order further stated that in case the reply was not filed till the said date, case would be proceeded without it.
Fauzia Bibi was elected on reserved seats on PTI ticket in 2013 elections and appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary in Tourism Department to Chief Minister –KPK. She has filed the suit claiming the damages of Rs. 500 million against Imran Khan for defaming her through a press conference in which he claimed that she had sold her vote in the Senate elections.
Suit has been filed by the former PTI-MPA Fauzia Bibi
Deputy attorney general, Mohammad Habib Qureshi represented the Prime Minister in the court and submitted an application stating that an appeal had already been filed in the Peshawar High Court in this connection therefore the court was requested to adjourn the hearing till the High Court decided the appeal.
The trial court after knowing that High Court had not issued any stay order to stop the trial in the instant case, turned down the plea and ordered to file reply under “Order VIII Rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure” which states , “if a party fails to produce a written statement before the court within specified time, the court may issue a judgment against him”. Syed Ghufranullah Shah appeared in the court for Ms Fauzia and argued that despite repeated orders of the court, the defendant Imran Khan had not submitted the written reply and had been using the delaying tactics for the last two years.
Imran Khan defamed me through a press conference, stating that I had sold my vote in 2018 Senate Election, Fauzia Bibi alleged
The court on December 14 had rejected an application from Mr. Khan for dismissing the suit on account of its non-maintainability. The defendant had stated that he had made the press conference on the basis of a report that had been submitted by the disciplinary committee of party in good faith. The dismissal order was challenged in Peshawar High Court (PHC) on behalf of Mr. Khan which is still pending.
Earlier, an application was submitted on behalf of Mr. Khan under Order VII Rule 10 CPC, requesting the court to return the suit as it was out of the jurisdiction of the present court. It was argued that since the press conference was held in Islamabad, the suit should have been filed in Islamabad Court. The court however rejected the application on 30th January, 2020.
This defamation suit was filed in June 2018 in the light of Defamation Ordinance, 2002 and the only defendant in the suit was PTI head Imran Khan, who later became the Prime Minister.
Ms Fauzia blamed that after the Senate polls, Imran Khan started speaking, spreading, communicating and circulating baseless and false statements against her that subsequently damaged her political prestige and dignity.