LAHORE: A sessions court on Monday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s lawyer for more arguments on a Rs10 billion defamation suit by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif against the former.

Advocate Sajid Munawar Qureshi informed the court that lead counsel Babar Awan was engaged before Supreme Court in Islamabad due to which he could not appear. However, Qureshi, through his arguments, questioned the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit on territorial grounds.  He contended that the press conference of the PTI chief, assailed by the chief minister, was held in Islamabad, so the Sessions’ court of Lahore had no territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Representing Shahbaz Sharif, Advocate Muhammad Jahanzeb opposed his arguments saying that the PTI chief had intentionally been using delaying tactics to linger on the proceedings. He said, as per law, the court was bound to decide a damages suit within 90 days. Whereas more than six months had passed in the instant case, the counsel said.

At this, Additional District & Sessions Judge Shabana Risalat directed the counsel of Khan to come up with more arguments on the jurisdiction of the case and put off further proceedings until March 24.

Shahbaz Sharif, in his damages suit, had said that Khan’s allegations against him were baseless. He said he never offered him Rs10 billion through a common friend for withdrawing case of Panama Papers before the Supreme Court.  He pleaded the court to allow his suit against him and order him to pay him Rs10billion as compensation.