Following allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him back in 2018, actor-singer Ali Zafar had filed a defamation suit worth Rs100 crores against singer Meesha Shafi, for allegedly maligning his reputation and carrying out a malicious and smear campaign against him. As the case still remains in court, Shafi, her legal counsel and alleged witnesses have time and again failed to appear before the court and record their testimonies. Now, according to court documents, Shafi is being demanded to produce her witnesses in court without any further delay. The next hearing is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2020.
Last month, the FIA Cyber Crime Wing registered a case against 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 Zafar. The FIR was filed following a complaint moved by Zafar regarding the same. The accused were booked under Section 20 (Offences against the dignity of a natural person) of the PECA and Section 109 (Punishment of abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Shafi then submitted an application for staying the proceedings, which according to Zafar’s lawyers is a scheme to linger on the case in court.
His legal team has made a series of objections, arguing that while Raza, one of Shafi’s supposed witnesses, made a public apology on Twitter after the FIR was filed against her, her post was not due to any external pressure nor a blatant attempt on Zafar’s part to silent the witnesses. Zafar’s lawyers stated that there was no need to “summon her through the process of court” if she was willing to appear before the court and record her statement in the first place, arguing it just shows that she many others were not asked for consent before their names were filed as the defendant’s (Shafi) witnesses. Zafar’s legal counsel claimed that for this reason, Shafi is filing a “false and frivolous application” and trying to further delay the process and prolong the proceedings in the titled suit.