Sessions court reserves verdict on Meesha Shafi’s application for transfer of defamation case

A sessions court in Lahore on Saturday reserved its verdict in an application submitted by Meesha Shafi for the transfer of a defamation suit filed by Ali Zafar, which is currently being heard by Additional District and Sessions Judge Shakeel Ahmad.

In the application, submitted by Shafi’s lawyer Farhad Ali Shah today, the singer has expressed her loss of trust in Justice Ahmad and said she believes the judge is displaying partiality to Zafar.

As per the application, the judge had assisted witnesses in furnishing answers during the recording of testimonies in the defamation case.

Further, Shafi believes that he had also expressed displeasure with her lawyer “for no reason” and subsequently fined him Rs10,000.

She has, therefore, requested that the defamation case be transferred to another court.

The sessions court, after hearing the transfer application today, reserved its verdict, saying it would announce it on Wednesday (May 8).

During the proceedings, Shafi’s lawyer said that they do not trust the judge presiding over the defamation case.

Judge Khalid Nawaz asked how long the case had been going on for and was informed that it had been 14 months since hearings started. As per the LHC order, the decision had to be made within the next three months, Zafar’s lawyer said.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) had on April 9 set aside an earlier directive from a Lahore district court that had mandated a conclusion to the Zafar-Shafi defamation case on April 15, instead giving the petitioners and respondents another three months to argue their respective cases.

Sessions court adjourns hearing

Also on Saturday, the sessions court hearing the defamation case adjourned the hearing until May 11, on which day more witness testimonies will be recorded.

During the hearing, the transfer application for the case was also presented to the sessions judge.

Shafi’s lawyer said that they wanted to transfer the case and added that a verdict on this application would be announced on May 8, therefore they wanted further hearings of defamation case to take place after the verdict of the transfer application was announced.

The court accepted this request and adjourned the case.

In his suit, Zafar has said Shafi levelled “baseless and unfounded” allegations of sexual harassment against him in a tweet posted on April 19, 2018, which tarnished his image and brought agony and pain to his family.

He further complained that Shafi failed to delete the tweet and issue an apology within 14 days of a legal notice being served to her.

He has, therefore, asked the court to rule against Shafi and direct her to pay Rs1 billion in damages to him.

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