A Lahore district court issued bailable arrest warrants for Shahbaz Gill, special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on political communication, on Thursday for not appearing before the court in a defamation suit.
A company has filed a case against the SAPM for allegedly levelling false allegations against it during an interview to a private news channel.
The petitioner company, Turizm Tasimacilik, has sought action against Gill under sections 499 and 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code for hurting its reputation through false allegations.
An order passed by Additional District & Sessions Judge Hafiz Husnain Azhar Shah read that the “case was fixed for arguments on application for the change of authorized representative of the complaint as well as arguments on a petition under section 265-K of Cr.P.C. As the attendance of the respondent/accused Dr. Shahbaz Gill has already been dispensed with and on his behalf, his learned counsel is appearing.
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“Today, the file was kept waiting for a whole day till 3:30pm but his learned counsel has not turned up on his behalf regarding his attendance. So under these circumstances, respondent/accused is hereby summoned through bail-able warrant of his arrest to the tune of Rs.30,000 for November 1, 2021,” the order further read.
The petitioner company maintains in its suit that it is a part of Turkey’s Albayrak Group of companies, that started its journey with the construction sector in 1952 in Turkey and continues today with more than 40 companies and almost 30,000 employees in the construction, manufacturing industry, logistics and energy, tourism, transportation services and media sectors.
The complainant maintained that the company also operated in the field of port management, waste management, public transport and construction sector, particularly in Pakistan, Somalia, Guinea in Asia and Africa respectively.
“Since 2012 as a leader company, Albayrak group has been operating in public transport and waste management services in the cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Lahore. It is worth mentioning that Albayrak group has introduced modern waste management vehicles and 18 metre-long articulated buses (as Metro Bus Service) first time in the history of Pakistan,” the company maintains in its petition.
It further states that, “It has got the love and appreciation from the public by providing quality services to more than 10,000 personnel. The Metro Bus public transportation system especially provides higher quality, comfort and reliability compared to traditional bus lines, they also shorten the travel time and increase passenger satisfaction to the highest levels. We have carried more than 600 million passengers since the beginning of our projects,” the petition prayed.
However, it accuses Gill of giving “maliciously false statements” and airing “defamatory allegations” against the company during a talk show on a local TV channel, on September 26, 2020.
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The company maintains that “the previous government 6 years before had awarded contract for Lahore Metro Bus project at the rate of $3.68 per kilometer. However, after 6 years we had awarded the new contract for Lahore metro project at the rate of $1.83 per kilometer.”
It adds that “the money in terms of $1.85 per kilometer is going to Salman Shehbaz. Accused Gill further added that an owner of national TV channel informed him that a hefty amount of money was being looted from the old contract of Lahore metro bus project and going to Mr Salman Shehbaz. He (Salman Shehbaz) is still receiving his cut from the company with whom they have awarded the contract”.
The petitioner implored to the court that this statement falsely alleged that the company was involved in corrupt practices such as giving kickbacks, percentages, commissions etc. without any proof relating to the above stated matter.
“The accused made this statement merely to harm reputation of the petitioner”. The petitioner prayed to the court to summon the respondent in person, try him under section 499 and 500 of PPC, and punish the accused in accordance with the law under the above said provisions.