Shahzad Akbar sends Rs500m legal notice to Bashir Memon, seeks apology

By: News Desk
Published: 04:01 PM, 28 Apr, 2021
Shahzad Akbar sends Rs500m legal notice to Bashir Memon, seeks apology
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Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior (Federal Minister) Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday sent a legal notice to ex-DG FIA Bashir Memon to retract from accusation or pay sum of Rs500 million as compensation for causing irreparable damage to his reputation, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

He also asked him to pay Rs2 million in terms of the legal fee.

As per the legal notification, “That, in light of these facts, the undersigned calls upon you, within fourteen (14) days from the date of issuance of this notice, to do the following: i. Retract your defamatory statements and issue an unconditional public apology of equal prominence, in writing to our client via newspaper and through electronic means, and: ii. Pay a sum of Rs. 50,00,00,000- as compensation for causing irreparable damage to the Client's reputation; and Rs. 20,00,0001- as legal fee, failing which, the undersigned have been instructed to initiate legal proceedings against you at your own risk and cost.” 

“We, the undersigned are writing on behalf of Mr. Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior, who has instructed us, to serve upon you, the instant legal notice with regards to your interview on program titled, "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzaada Kay Sath" dated 27.04.2021, aired on Geo News, wherein, you passed defamatory statements and raised false, politically motivated and absurd imputations against our Client without any evidence or factual basis,” the legal notice reads.

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“Our client has been a target of hateful and defamatory media campaigns from some members of the opposition. The motive of this defamatory campaign is to discourage him from the pro-active role he is playing in curbing corruption and ensuring accountability across Pakistan,” the legal notice reads.

“…you passed completely untrue, defamatory and libelous statements that our client along with the Hon'ble Prime Minister, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Law Minister had pressurized you to file a case against a Judge of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. You made a false, libelous and slanderous allegation that our Client wanted to use Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate an investigation against the I hon'ble Judge. You without any evidence or any factual basis blamed,” the TV channel reported quoting the legal notice.

Shahzad Akbar through his lawyer maintained, “Our client pressurized you in an alleged meeting held at our client's office and painted a false narrative as if our client holds some malicious agenda against the said honorable Judge. Your libelous statements arc completely untrue and have damaged the reputation of our client and brought him in disrepute. Your sinister intent and design which is evident from the false statements you made tends to harm the reputation of the honorable Prime Minister who has all along been a vocal and vociferous supporter of an independent judiciary.”

The legal notice also reminded the DG FIA that he being a former police officer ought to have known that raising imputations without any evidence or factual basis, and fabricating and twisting facts to narrate a completely untrue and misleading account is a criminal offence.

The legal notice reads, “Your defamatory statements are only a continuation of a hateful media campaign which has been launched at the behest of those criminal and corrupt elements which the current government is trying to investigate and prosecute in a completely transparent, fair and neutral manner, through a judicial forum.”

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“That, contrary to your false and vexatious assertions, our client, being a responsible, upright and honest citizen had never asked you to file any case against the said judge of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. You were never called for any meeting by our client with the Honorable Prime Minister or the Law Minister and neither any case against a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court was referred to you. Your allegations are utter lies and have no basis whatsoever,” the lawyer of Mirza Shahzad Akbar said in the legal notice sent to the former DG of FIA. 

It further maintained,” Contrary to the false narrative you have painted, our client never pressurized you to use FIA to harass or victimize him or any other individual. Our client, being a responsible citizen and above all a lawyer who has practiced before the courts in Pakistan, holds the superior judiciary in high esteem. Your malafide intention and sympathetic attitude towards corrupt elements within the opposition parties is evident from your own admission made in the interview that after your refusal to investigate and inquire complaints against corruption, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took cognizance of the same and filed references.”

“The fact that you did not proceed against indisputable corruption matters which were later investigated and prosecuted by NAB, proves that you failed in your job to nab corrupt elements. That, your false defamatory statements fail to portray a true picture to the public, which not only harms our Client's reputation but more importantly, amounts to misrepresentation and deceits the public,” the legal notice reads. 

“Your defamatory statements are nothing other than a bundle of unverified material and presenting untrue statements as an established statement of fact. That, all allegations and insinuations made and adverse inferences drawn by you are strongly denied as they are completely fabricated, libelous and scandalous. You are liable to make good all losses caused to the Client and the office of Advisor to the Prime Minister in case you do not retract your false defamatory statements and issue an official apology,” Mirza Shahzad Akbar’s lawyer legal notice reads.