Meesha Shafi to challenge LHC’s decision in Supreme Court

Meesha Shafi to approach the apex court to fight the case of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar following the rejection of her plea by Punjab government and Lahore High Court.

Meesha Shafi

Singer Meesha Shafi challenged Lahore High Court’s verdict in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Lahore High Court had sustained the decision of Governor Punjab and provincial ombudsperson to reject her sexual harassment plea against Ali Zafar.

In her petition, Meesha has pleaded the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of Lahore High Court. Punjab Ombudsperson had set aside Meesha Shafi’s sexual harassment complaint against Ali Zafar. Governor Punjab also approved ombudsperson’s decision, citing that there was no employer-employee relationship between Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi.

Later, Meesha Shafi challenged the petition against the decision in the Lahore High Court. Consequently, Lahore High Court upheld the decision of Governor Punjab and Punjab’s Ombudsperson asserting that there was no legal error in the decision.

Meesha’s legal team, however, argued that the ombudsperson’s decision is illegal because the definition of the workplace in the Act is not restricted to protect women only working day jobs.

Read more: Nine witnesses reject Meesha Shafi’s allegation of sexual harassment in court

Meesha Shafi, in her petition at Supreme Court, has included Ali Zafar, Governor Punjab, and Punjab Ombudsperson.

Later talking to media, Shafi asserted that her sexual harassment allegations against Ali Zafar has tarnished her image and affected her career. She added that she did not intend to go public with her sexual harassment allegations but had to after she was forced to work with Ali Zafar in a program despite her denial.

Defamation Case

Meesha is also fighting a defamation case of Rs.1 billion filed against her by Ali Zafar. Zafar had legally challenged her sexual harassment allegations against him.

Meesha Shafi has been unable to present substantial shreds of evidence or witnesses before the court to prove her sexual harassment allegations – mandatory to debunk the defamation claim of Rs.1 billion.

Syed Farhan Ali, Meesha Shafi’s manager, and the latest witness recorded his statement in Rs.1 billion defamation case.

Farhan, in his court statement, could not testify sexual harassment allegations against Ali Zafar. Adding that: “I was not focusing on the plaintiff or the defendant. I did go out of the room a couple of times so I cannot confirm whether or not any harassment happened.”

He, however, added that after the jamming session Shafi shared that she felt uncomfortable with Ali Zafar and that she would not work with him in the future. She told Farhan that Zafar ‘was not a good person’ and that she hates him.

He informed the court later that Meesha Shafi refused to work with Ali Zafar for a sponsored music contest.

Farhan Ali added that the stalemate remained despite several efforts of reconciliation from the sponsors.

“As a result, Meesha was forced to go public with her sexual harassment allegations despite my advice against it. I told her people would abuse her and she would lose her work too,” testified Farhan.

Read more: Never seen Ali Zafar harass anyone, witnesses tell court

Farhan asserted that he does not anticipate any motive behind Meesha Shafi’s allegation against Ali Zafar.

He is unaware if Meesha Shafi has received any foreign funding to expand the MeToo campaign in Pakistan. “She sends her tax returns through me, and they have decreased,” he said.

Earlier, Sara Razee, a childhood friend of singer Meesha Shafi had testified in favor of singer Ali Zafar in session court Lahore. Razee recorded her statement in the defamation case.

In her detailed statement, she ruled out the possibility of Ali Zafar sexually harassing Meesha Shafi. She cited several post-jam session encounters between the two singers in which she found Meesha’s behavior towards Ali unchanged and normal.

Earlier, all nine witnesses presented by Ali Zafar’s legal counsel before the session court in Lahore have denied the sexual harassment allegations leveled by Meesha Shafi. These nine witnesses have already submitted their affidavits in court testifying Ali Zafar’s innocence.

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