IHC seeks PM’s reply in defamation case against Kh Asif
Orders sessions court that stopped defendant from cross-examining premier to halt proceedings
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The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan and asked him to submit a reply in his defamation suit against PML-N leader Khawaja Asif over the latter’s allegations regarding misappropriations in the funds of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The IHC held a hearing on the petition filed by Kh Asif against the decision of the Islamabad sessions court which had denied the defendant of his right to cross-examine the premier in the defamation suit.
The prime minister has filed a defamation suit seeking Rs10 billion in damages against Kh Asif.
During the hearing, the high court issued notice to Prime Minister Khan ordering him to submit his reply in the case. The IHC also stopped the trial court from further continuing the proceedings of the case.
The counsel for Kh Asif told the IHC that the sessions court judge had barred the defendant from cross-examining the premier.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah inquired for how long this case of defamation was lingering in the court?
The lawyer informed that the case was filed in 2012 and questions were outlined in 2021.
The CJ remarked that this court had directed to dispose of defamation cases promptly. Then who is responsible for the delay, he said inquiring further if PM Imran was responsible for the delay.
He was of the view since it was a defamation case, it should have been disposed of in two months.
The counsel confessed that the delay was from both sides. When the questions were determined, Kh Asif was in NAB’s custody for six months. He stated that initially Imran Khan did not pursue the case, but later he took it up.
The court adjourned the hearing till Jan 12.
Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani