LAHORE - A court on Friday adjourned a Rs10 billion defamation suit filed by Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif against Prime Minister Imran Khan as delaying tactics were being used by the defendant.

Shehbaz, who is also PML-N president, had filed the defamation suit against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan over his claim that the ruling government had offered him Rs10 million bribe to remain silent on the issue of Panama Papers case.

During the hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Aslam Panjutha directed the lawyers of both the parties to argue on the next hearing on an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit. The defendant had challenged the territorial jurisdiction of this court. The hearing was adjourned till Nov 3.

Earlier, Defence lawyer Babar Awan had filed the application in the defamation suit as a last resort as the court had earlier given last and final opportunity to file written arguments in the main suit. Awan also requested to provide record of cases against Shehbaz Sharif who had claimed Rs10 billion in damages from Khan under sections 4 and 9 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 for allegedly lying and defaming his reputation.

In the new application, Imran stated that the plaintiff Shehbaz in paragraph 2 of the defamation suit alleged that he is highly respectable individual and he enjoys an excellent reputation in both national and international circles having a long and illustrious career in politics and public service to his credit. The plaintiff further alleged in the same paragraph that he is widely known and respected for his credibility, hard work, integrity and competence.

He had requested the court that Shehbaz be directed to produce various documents which negate the latter’s stance. The documents required include: copies of notices under section 19 of NAB Ordinance in all pending inquiries; record of all the inquiries and investigations pending against him in FIA, Anti-Corruption establishment; record of criminal cases, Model Town case, Laptop scheme, Ashiyana Housing Scheme, Orange Line Train Lahore, Metro project Multan; record pertaining to number of CM houses in Punjab in last 10 years; and record of expenses made on Model Town.

Earlier, the ADJ had stated that numerous opportunities have already been granted for arguments from the defendant side and it was directed to submit written arguments but neither written nor oral arguments have been presented by the learned counsel fo the defendant. Therefore, the court had given the last and final opportunity for the written arguments.