Chief justice to form a new bench
Singer Meesha Shafi has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Lahore High Court’s decision in the sexual harassment case against Ali Zafar.
The case was taken up on Monday. Justice Yahya Afridi, however, recused himself from hearing the case citing personal reasons. The bench has been dissolved and request has been submitted to Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed to form a new bench to take up the case.
Shafi, in an appeal filed in August 2018, had challenged in the Lahore High Court the Punjab ombudsperson (Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace) and governor’s decision to dismiss her complaint against Zafar whom she accused of sexual harassment.
The court, however, disposed of her petition. She had initially filed a complaint accusing Zafar of harassment with the provincial ombudsperson, who had rejected it on technical grounds.
The reason cited for the dismissal was that she and Zafar “did not have an employer-employee relationship”.Shafi then made an appeal against this decision with the Punjab governor. He, however, upheld the ombudsperson’s decision in July 2018, dismissing her request on “technical grounds”.
In April 2018, Shafi took to Twitter to accuse Zafar of physically harassing her on ‘more than one occasion.’ “This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind,” she said.
In response, Zafar filed a defamation suit against Shafi. He denied the allegations and wants her to pay restitution for the damage to his reputation and leveling false allegations against him.