SHC adjourn suit of Zardari against Hashwani

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday while adjourning till February 26, two-billion defamation suit filed by former president Asif Ali Zardari against Sadrudin Hashwani, a business tycoon, directed the latter’s counsel to submit reply to the suit.

Former president had sued the country’s one of biggest tycoon for Rs2billion for tarnishing his and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) image.

The plaintiff’s counsel Farooq H Naik and Shazia Hanjrah submitted that Hashwani’s book titled “Truth Always Prevails” was aimed at disparaging and defaming plaintiff’s reputation nationally and internationally.“The book published in a hostile country, India, willfully mentioned false, misleading, derogatory and defamatory contents with a view to defame the plaintiff,” said Naik.

He said Hashwani malafidely distorted the facts and made false and fabricated statements against the plaintiff which are full of blatant lies. Naik told the judges that Zardari believes in complete freedom of speech as enunciated in Article 19 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, but in negation of its true spirit, the author had published the impugned statements in the book mentioned supra against the plaintiff without having properly investigated, verified.

He said that a legal notice was served to the author along with the publishers but they did give any response. The counsel requested the court to issue a stay order against the publishing of the book and direct the author to pay Rs2 billion.

When the suit came up for hearing on Friday, a SHC single bench comprising Justice Nazar Akbar repeated the notice to the publisher to file its response. Advocate Muneer A Malik filed vakalatnama on behalf of the author. He also filed preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

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