Leading singer and actor Ali Zafar has filed a reply in the court on the request of singer Meesha Shafi to stay the defamation suit against him for some time.
Meesha Shafi had on October 10 filed a petition in the Lahore Sessions Court seeking stay or adjournment of the defamation suit against him for the time being. The singer had told the court in a petition filed through her lawyers that a criminal case of cybercrime had been filed against her and her witnesses in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which frightened her witnesses. The defamation hearing should be adjourned for the time being.
The court had sought reply from Ali Zafar till October 13 after a brief hearing on Meesha Shafi's application and now the actor has submitted his reply. In his reply, the actor told the court that on his complaint, the FIA has filed a cybercrime case against Meesha Shafi and only four of his witnesses, while the actress has submitted a list of 20 witnesses in the defamation case. ۔
Ali Zafar told the court in his reply that a cyber crime case was filed against the witnesses of Meesha Shafi who were campaigning against him on social media and the hearing of the defamation case was not adjourned using this case as an excuse. The reply submitted by Ali Zafar said that the purpose of the petition filed by Meesha Shafi was to delay the court proceedings.
Ali Zafar also said that there was no justification to stay the defamation suit till the cyber crime case was decided. The singer replied that taking legal action against anyone is not harassment. After Ali Zafar submitted his reply, Additional Sessions Judge Yasir Ali summoned the two for discussion on October 17.
It is believed that the defamation case has been pending for almost the last two years. The case was filed by Ali Zafar against Meesha Shafi when the singer had accused him of sexual harassment. Meesha Shafi had accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment in his tweets in April 2018, which Ali Zafar called false.
Later, Meesha Shafi had also filed a sexual harassment petition against Ali Zafar with the Punjab Ombudsman and the Governor of Punjab and both the petitions of the singer were rejected. After the rejection of the aforesaid petitions, Ali Zafar had filed a suit against Meesha Shafi in the Sessions Court in Lahore seeking Rs 1 billion in damages, which has been the subject of dozens of hearings in the last two years.
In the case, Ali Zafar and all his 13 witnesses have recorded their statements, while Meesha Shafi's lawyers have also cross-examined him. In the same case, Meesha Shafi and his mother have also recorded their statements, however, the statements of Meesha Shafi's witnesses have yet to be recorded and cross-examined. The court will rule on the petition only after the statements of Meesha Shafi's witnesses and cross-examination, but it is thought that the process could take another three to four months.
On the other hand, on the complaint of Ali Zafar at the end of September, the FIA had filed a case against 9 persons including Meesha Shafi and actress Effat Omar under cybercrime. All the personalities are accused of damaging Ali Zafar's reputation by making allegations against him on social media as planned and the same cybercrime is yet to be decided.
In addition, since April 2018, at least three women have apologized to Ali Zafar for making false allegations. Among the women who have apologized to Ali Zafar are well-known blogger and journalist Mahesh Ijaz, blogger Hamna Raza and a woman named Sufi.
The three women also accused Ali Zafar of harassment in their tweets after Meesha Shafi, but all three later admitted that they made false allegations and apologized to the actor.