Babar Awan steps in to defend Imran Khan in libel case

Source: Published in Politics on Thursday, January 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Former law-minister Babar Awan submitted his license at a local court on Thursday to defend Pakistan Tehreek-i-Pakistan (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a libel case filed by ex-chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Iftikhar Chaudhry's counsel and Babar Awan had an exchange of harsh words during the court session as he argued that Chaudhry had suspended Babar Awan's law license in the past.

Babar Awan argued that Imran Khan has faced "countless injustices" due to which he had to come out on the streets.

District and Session Judge Nazeer Ahmed remarked that a decision will be taken without any pressure. The court also asked Chaudhry's counsel to present his case regarding his accusations against Awan in the next hearing.

Babar Awan previously served as the federal law minister during Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) tenure.

Last year, Iftikhar Chaudhry's counsel sent a defamation notice worth Rs20 billion to the PTI Chairman, on the grounds that he leveled rigging allegations against the ex-chief justice. Chaudhry's counsel also argued that Khan attempted to disparage and malign the superior judiciary.

Upon his return from Saudi Arabia, Khan once again trained his guns on the former chief justice and Justice (retd) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, alleging them of supervising rigging carried out during the May 2013 General Elections.

"Iftikhar Chaudhry and Justice (retd) Ramday controlled the returning officers ... both of them should be tried under Article 6," the PTI chief had said, while talking to reporters in Islamabad last week.

Speaking on the former chief justice's Rs20 billion libel notice, Imran had said he was waiting for Iftikhar Chaudhry to face him in the court. "Iftikhar Chaudhry is a traitor to democracy, I will prove this in the court," he said.

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