SC hears Meesha Shafi’s appeal against LHC verdict

Published: May 10, 2019
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Meesha Shafi. PHOTO COURTESY CATALYST PR AND MARKETING

Meesha Shafi. PHOTO COURTESY CATALYST PR AND MARKETING

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court heard an appeal filed by singer Meesha Shafi against a Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict that rejected her plea for a joint cross-examination of witnesses.

Shafi had challenged the LHC judgement in the apex court last month.

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.

In April 2018, Meesha had accused singer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. While the singer took to the social media to make her voice heard, Zafar responded with legal advances, announcing he would be taking a professional route on the matter.

Soon after, Zafar filed the under-discussion defamation case against the starlet that still remains under trial.

Taking up Shafi’s plea, Supreme Court’s Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked her lawyer as to under which law could the testimonies of all witnesses be recorded together.

“It’s for the court to decide how the statements will be recorded. It can’t record statements as per your wishes,” he told the lawyer.

The lawyer said it was necessary to record the statements together to clarify what happened at the jam session, where the alleged sexual harassment took place.

After asking the lawyer about the duration of his legal career, the judge asked him as to whether he had in his 11 years in the profession ever seen the statements of witnessed being recorded together and the cross-examination taking place later.

“I have not seen it happening in the 30 years of my experience in courts,” he added.

Shafi’s lawyer replied that he could quote many court decisions to back his client’s appeal.

The judge observed that there was no such precedent.

He added that court judgements were not a divine script and they could also be wrong.

Zafar’s lawyer informed the bench the statement of one of the 11 witnesses had been recorded.

The court adjourned the hearing till next week.

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