Peshawar: A woman lawmaker has slapped a Rs 5 billion defamation suit against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan after being accused by her party of horse-trading during the Senate elections earlier this year.
Member of the former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Bibi Fauzia filed a defamation suit with the Peshawar district and sessions judge yesterday, Dawn newspaper reported today.
On April 18, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had alleged that as many as 18 party lawmakers in the provincial assembly had sold their votes.
Amongst those accused of selling their votes was PTI lawmaker Ms Fauzia. She had been elected to the provincial legislature on a reserved seat for women from Chitral.
The suit sought Rs 5 billion as damages from the PTI chief ahead of general elections in Pakistan on July 25.
The case was assigned to additional district and sessions judge Shah Waliullah Hamid Hashmi, who fixed the preliminary hearing on June 27, it said.
She said she had followed the PTI's directions in the Senate elections by voting for the candidates named by it for general and reserved seats.
Ms Fauzia said after the elections, the PTI chief began "uttering, spreading and resorting to publication, communication and circulation of maliciously false, baseless and unfounded oral statements and representation" against her.
She said Mr Khan accused her of selling vote for money through electronic, print and social media.
The former lawmaker said she denied the charge by taking oath on the Holy Quran and replied to the show cause notice issued by the PTI Secretariat within the stipulated time.
She said she asked Khan of holding an 'open inquiry' into the matter, provide her with an opportunity of hearing, and confront her with all witnesses and material against her.
Ms Fauzia however said the PTI chief failed to hold the inquiry and prove the horse-trading charge against her.
She claimed that the defamatory statement of Mr Khan had damaged her political, social and family life besides destroying her personality.
"I served a legal notice on Imran Khan under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance asking him to tender an apology but he failed to respond to it," she said.