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A sessions court in Lahore on Monday asked musician and actor Meesha Shafi to submit her reply by July 5 in the Rs1 billion defamation case filed against her by fellow artist Ali Zafar.

In a statement on Twitter on April 19, Shafi had accused Ali of sexually harassing her on more than one occasion. She wrote: "I have been subjected, on more than one occasion, to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar [...] It has been an extremely traumatic experience for me and my family [...] I feel betrayed by his behaviour and attitude and I know that I'm not alone."

Shortly after, Zafar had denied the allegations in a statement and sent a legal notice to Shafi, demanding that Shafi deletes the tweet accusing him of harassment and issues an apology on Twitter.

During today's hearing, presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Shehzad Ahmed, Zafar's counsel argued that his client was "subjected to baseless allegations of harassment for publicity", which has impacted his image across the globe.

Advocate Rana Intizar Hussain asked the court that Shafi be asked to pay Rs1 billion in damages to his client.

The court, while directing Shafi to file her response by July 5, restrained her from "making any derogatory remarks" against Zafar "in any manner on print or electronic or social media".