LAHORE - A Sessions court on Wednesday issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan on an application of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif seeking early disposal of his defamation suit of Rs10 billion against Khan.

In a short order, the sessions judge held that the respondent was given many opportunities to submit his reply but on every date he sought time and delayed the proceedings. The judge observed that from the next date of hearing , the day to day hearing would be held. The court adjourned the case until Dec 5.

INP adds: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday appealed to a local court hearing his R10 billion defamation suit against PTI chief to decide it at the earliest.

Shehbaz sued the PTI chairman for Rs10 billion damages for accusing him of offering a bribe to stay silent over the Panama Papers allegations against the Sharif family.

Shehbaz , through his lawyer, had filed an application in the court, submitting that PTI chief Imran Khan was using delaying tactics to prolong the matter. As per the relevant law, the court is bound to decide the case within 90 days, he argued.

In his suit, Shehbaz said, “The defendant (Imran Khan) levelled maliciously false, baseless and unfounded allegations against him.” “He also levelled the same allegations no less than three times in television programme aired on April 26 this year.”

The plaintiff said that he had served a legal notice through his counsel on the defendant on May 8, 2017, under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 calling upon him to tender a proper apology within 14 days of the receipt of the notice. Upon failing, he warned, he will initiate legal action against the defendant for recovery of Rs10 billion as damages under the law. However, Khan failed to tender an apology.

Sharif’s lawyer said that considering the seriousness of defamatory allegations and consistency with which he levelled allegations, his client was entitled to a claim of compensation.