Ali Zafar-Meesha Shafi Case: SC issues new orders

Lahore, 12th January: A regular hearing of the singer Meesha Shafi took place at the Supreme Court on Monday regarding her sexual harassment allegations against the singer Ali Zafar.

Baaghi TV: According to reports, the Supreme Court has approved for hearing Meesha Shafi’s harassment case against singer-actor Ali Zafar.

Meesha Shafi sought that the provincial ombudsperson for protection of harassment against women at the workplace should rehear her grievance.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam issued notices to Advocate General Punjab and the singer Ali Zafar.

As per reports, Meesha Shafi pleaded before the Supreme Court to accept the present appeal and set aside the order of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Oct 11, that upheld the conclusion reached by the provincial ombudsperson for the protection of harassment against women at workplace.

It is to be noted that both Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar are embroiled in a dispute following which Ali Zafar filed a defamation suit against her for accusing him of sexual harassment and thus defaming his reputation.

Advocate Khawaja Ahmad Hosain requested the apex court to order that Shafi’s case be remanded back to the provincial ombudsperson explaining that her complaint should be heard and decided under the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Work Place Act 2010 against Zafar on merits in accordance with the law.

Earlier, Shafi had filed the complaint under Section 8 of the 2010 act about the alleged harassment by singer Ali Zafar at the workplace where both were rehearsing for an event.

However, according to Baaghi TV reports, the ombudsperson office rejected the complaint on May 3, 2018, saying that the petitioner was not an employee and therefore not covered under the act.

Later on, the order was challenged before LHC, where again it was dismissed on Oct 11, 2019, on the same grounds as rejected by the ombudsperson.

Dawn News reported that Shafi argued in her petition that the ombudsperson order was based only on a provision in the contract between the petitioner and JS Events and Production, an organization which had employed the petitioner according to a contract of Dec 7, 2017.

According to the contract, Shafi was required to rehearse at the singer’s studio and to perform two songs in collaboration with Zafar.

The appeal stated that the studio where Shafi was supposed to rehearse clearly falls within the definition of the workplace under the act.

On Sunday, Baaghi TV reported that singer Meesha Shafi shared the news about her court hearing on her Twitter account that has been restricted.

She wrote, “Tomorrow, the Supreme Court of Pakistan hears my appeal on whether I, a ‘self-employed person’ have a right, as per the law, to be heard after being harassed and therefore expect justice on merit as an equal citizen.”

It may be remembered that on Dec 2020, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) convicted singer Meesha Shafi and eight others of running a deviant campaign against singer Ali Zafar on social media, prompting the trial court to initiate proceedings against them.

Stay tuned to Baaghi TV for further updates in this story!