After the premier’s attorneys unilaterally asked the court to withdraw the stay application in favour of the trial proceedings in the Daily Mail defamation case moving forward, the London High Court ordered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to deposit £30,000 (Rs7.8million or almost Rs80 lac) through his attorney by November 23.
This “stay” was agreed between all parties — Daily Mail publishers, Shehbaz Sharif and his son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf — in agreement but then Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyers decided to withdraw the “stay” just ahead of the case management hearing where the dates for the trials were to be set.
The goal of the costs and case management hearing is to establish guidelines for how the case will be handled before trial and to take into account the parties’ cost budgets, or their expected costs of the entire litigation process.
The court has also ordered Sharif’s attorneys to respond fully to Daily Mail’s defence within a month, failing which the case risked being dismissed.
A court already turned down PM Shehbaz’s plea for an indefinite postponement in this case. The court had stated that PM Shahbaz and Imran would be required to cover the entire cost of the legal procedures.
For publishing a “politically motivated” piece, British newspaper The Mail on Sunday, online news outlet Mail Online, and its journalist David Rose were sued in July 2019 by famous media legal firm Carter-Ruck on behalf of Shehbaz Sharif. According to the report, which was published on July 14, 2019, Shehbaz and Yousaf “stole British taxpayers’ money” from the Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA), which was established to aid the victims of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
The London High Court found earlier this year that Shehbaz Sharif and his son-in-law were both the targets of the highest level of defamation (Chase level 1)