Pakistan court allows Meesha Shafi to proceed with defamation suit against singer Ali Zafar

Row between singers started in 2018 when Shafi accused Zafar of harassing her


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Published: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 6:48 PM

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered a sessions court to initiate proceedings on a defamation suit filed by Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi against singer-actor Ali Zafar.

Justice Asim Hafeez passed the orders while allowing a petition filed by Shafi against a stay order on his defamation suit in the sessions court.

After this decision, the trial court would hear both defamation suits simultaneously.

The petitioner’s counsel argued before the court that a sessions court was holding proceedings on a defamation suit filed by Zafar against his client but it had stopped proceedings on the Rs2 billion defamation suit filed by his client against Zafar.

According to a Dawn report, advocate Saqib Jillani argued before the high court that instead of filing a reply to the suit of the petitioner, the respondent (Zafar) requested the sessions court to stay the subsequent suit.

He said the respondent had argued that the subsequent suit by the petitioner related to the same matter raised in the former suit, the report added.

The counsel argued that the issues in the former suit were not directly and substantially the same as the subsequent suit.

Jillani said the suit filed by the petitioner was not liable to stay as it had arisen of separate and distinct causes of action.

He submitted that the orders passed by the sessions court were illegal and not sustainable in the eyes of the law. He pleaded with the court to issue directions to the sessions court to initiate proceedings on the defamation suit filed by his client.

The court, after hearing detailed arguments, allowed the petition and ordered the sessions court to start proceedings on Shafi's defamation suit.

The row between both singers started in 2018 when Shafi accused Zafar of harassing her “on more than two occasions”.

Later, Zafar filed a Rs1 billion defamation suit, saying that all the allegations were baseless and unfounded and aimed to damage his reputation.

In 2019,  Shafi also filed a Rs2 billion suit for damages in the sessions court against Zafar for levelling false allegations against her in the media. However, the court stopped proceedings on Shafi's suit after Zafar, through an application, requested the court to stay proceedings on the suit until decision of his former suit.

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