The Supreme Court will decide how the statements of witnesses are recorded in the defamation suit against singer Meesha Shafi, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked on Thursday. The suit was filed by Ali Zafar after Shafi accused him of harassing her.
The top court was hearing Shafi’s petition to the have a joint cross-examination of Zafar’s witnesses in the case.
“Do you want all witnesses to record their statements and then be cross-examined together? What law allows this?” the judge asked. “The court won’t ask witnesses to record their statement as per your wishes.”
He remarked that all witnesses record their statements first and then they are cross-examined. “I have never seen witnesses be cross-examined together in my 30 years of experience,” he remarked.
Shafi’s lawyer said that they just want to be clear regarding what happened in the jamming session, in which Shafi said Zafar harassed her.
The hearing has been adjourned till next week.
Shafi had filed a petition in both trial court and the Lahore High Court for joint cross-examination of witnesses. Both the courts had dismissed the petition. The high court said that the request was “devoid of any merit”.
She then approached the top court and filed a petition against the court’s order. The petition said that the “valuable right” of cross-examination must be “real, fair and reasonable”.
Zafar filed a defamation suit against Shafi after she accused him of sexual harassment. He denied the allegations and wants her to pay restitution for the damage to his reputation and leveling false allegations against him.
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.