PM Imran files Rs10bn defamation lawsuit against Najam Sethi


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday filed a defamation case against anchorperson Najam Sethi, seeking damages worth Rs10 billion for making “defamatory” and “slanderous” claims about his personal life in his show on a private news channel.

“It is earnestly prayed that a permanent injunction be issued against defendant, and in favour of plaintiff, where under restraining defendant for not making any defamatory and slanderous comments against the plaintiff till the final decision of this case,” said the premier in his petition.

The petition was filed through Imran’s counsel Dr Babar Awan in an Islamabad district court. Awan said in a statement that absurd and shameful claims were made by the news anchor regarding the private life of Prime Minister Imran. “Fake news cannot be dealt with leniency,” he added.

Sethi had claimed during his talk show that the premier had developed differences with the first lady.

Awan said the practice of character assassination and violation of rule of law during TV programmes needed to be stopped. It is hoped that the Sethi would defend his immoral remarks in the court instead of seeking escape routes, said the PM’s lawyer.

Sethi, reacting to the development, said he was still waiting for justice from the court for the lawsuit he filed against the premier over his “35 puncture” allegations. “Even though PM Imran later publicly admitted there was no truth in his ‘political statement’,” he added in a message on social media.

Earlier in April, PM Imran had also lodged complaint with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) against Sethi for claiming that the prime minister had “developed differences” with the first lady during a show on a private news channel.