In September this year, the FIA Cyber Crime Wing registered a case against singer Meesha Shafi, Iffat Omar, Leena Ghani, Fariha Ayub, Maham Javaid, Ali Gul Pir, Haseemuz Zaman Khan, Humna Raza and Syed Faizan Raza for their alleged involvement in the vilification of Ali Zafar. In retaliation, the Aya Lariye crooner submitted an application for staying the proceedings of the defamation suit previously filed by Zafar. According to Zafar’s legal counsel, her application was a scheme to linger on the case in court. Now, a sessions court has dismissed Shafi’s application and commanded her to present her remaining witnesses for the recording of their statements.
Shafi had previously urged the court to suspend the proceedings of the suit until the decision of a criminal case registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against her and her witnesses was made. She claimed that the FIR lodged on the complaint of Zafar was an obvious attempt to silence her witnesses at a critical stage of the trial when she was producing her witnesses before the court, reported Dawn.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Yasar Hayat revealed that the higher courts had time and again maintained that civil and criminal cases regarding the same subject matter can take place simultaneously. He observed that Shafi had failed to produce anything in support of the stance to stop the proceedings of the suit merely because a criminal proceeding had been initiated. The judge ruled, “It is very much clear that the outcome of criminal proceeding is absolutely a different matter as the spirit and purpose of the same is to punish the offender for commission of crime and the purpose of civil proceedings is to enforce civil rights.” Shafi’s counsel has been instructed to present their remaining witnesses before the court, on October 27.