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Ali Zafar defamation case: Meesha Shafi challenges LHC decision in SC

Ali Zafar defamation case: Meesha Shafi challenges LHC decision in SC
April 12, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi on Friday has challenged decision of Lahore High Court (LHC) in Supreme Court (SC) regarding defamation suit filed by singer and actor Ali Zafar. According to the details garnered, singer Meesha Shafi sought more time to cross-examine witnesses. In a petition, Meesha Shafi said that trial court had not allowed to defer questioning on the witnesses. It is pertinent to mention here that the LHC had set aside an earlier lower court directive that had mandated a conclusion to the defamation case by April 15 and instead gave the petitioners and respondents three months more. Meesha’s lawyer, Ahmed Pansota, had said, “Our stance, i.e. the difficulty involved in concluding the trial, including examination of over 40 witnesses till April 15, 2019, stands vindicated today as the Honourable Judge acknowledged the same while enlarging the time period, alongside providing us with the opportunity to approach the court again, if required.” The application filed at the apex court today stated: “The trial court has not allowed delaying cross-examination of the witnesses. It has said that the witnesses will be cross-examined immediately after recording their statements.” “Cross-examining the witnesses is a basic right. It is impossible to cross-examine them without knowing them on the basis of their statements,” it stressed. The application submitted by Meesha at the SC added, “To present a witness is the right of one respondent and to cross-examine them is the right of the other respondent.” Singer Meesha in her application further requested the apex court to declare the LHC’s decision null and void and allow the cross-examination of the witnesses.
Ali Zafar defamation case: court fines Meesha Shafi Rs10,000
On Wednesday, a Lahore sessions court fined of Rs10,000 on singer Meesha Shafi for her lawyer’s failure to attend court hearing in a defamation case filed against her by singer-cum actor Ali Zafar. According to the media reports, the hearing was later adjourned till April 17. Ambreen Qureshi, counsel for Ali Zafar said Meesha Shafi’s failure to appear in court was a blatant attempt to delay the case. On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the trial court judge to conclude Ali Zafar’s defamation case against Meesha Shafi by April 15. Ali Zafar had approached the court after being accused of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment: Ali Zafar sends Rs 100m legal notice to Meesha Shafi
On April 23, singer Ali Zafar has sent an Rs 100 million legal notice to Meesha Shafi over the allegations of sexual harassment. In the legal notice, he asked Meesha Shafi to seek an apology on the media for leveling baseless allegations against him within a fortnight failure to which he will file a defamation suit. He stated that the baseless allegations had badly damaged his credibility. Meesha Shafi has accused Ali Zafar of harassing her sexually several times, triggering a debate in the showbiz industry. Ali Zafar had denied the charges.
After Meesha, more women accuse Ali Zafar of sexual harassment
Earlier, within hours of Meesha Shafi claiming sexual harassment at Ali Zafar’s hands, more women have taken to Twitter with similar allegations. Four more women have accused Ali Zafar of inappropriate behaviour towards them. Make-up artist Leena Ghani has praised and thanked Shafi for her bravery in speaking up and shared her #MeToo story. She says: “Seeing Meesha’s courage it’s impossible for me to not speak now, not only in support of her but also to say she’s not alone.” Journalist Maham Javaid has described an encounter “from many, many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss” a cousin of hers and to pull her “into a restroom with him”. Blogger Humna Raza says Ali inappropriately touched her at a public event. Shafi sparked Pakistan’s #MeToo moment of sorts when she took to Twitter on Thursday to allege that Ali Zafar had sexually harassed her more than once. Usman Khalid Butt and Urwa Hocane have tweeted in support of Shafi. Actor Maya Ali has said she respects Ali Zafar and has asked people to withhold judgment until all the facts come out.