The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday heard singer Meesha Shafi's petition against the Punjab governor's dismissal of her complaint against fellow artist Ali Zafar whom she has accused of sexual harassment.

Shafi had earlier filed a complaint with the provincial ombudsperson, who had rejected it on technical grounds saying that as she and Zafar "did not have an employer-employee relationship", the case could not be heard in that forum.

She then appealed against the decision before the Punjab governor, since, according to her lawyer, the governor is the competent authority to review any decisions made by the ombudsperson.

However, the Punjab governor upheld the ombudsperson's decision on July 11, dismissing her request on "technical grounds".

Barrister Ahmed Pansota, who was representing Shafi in court today, told Justice Shahid Kareem that his client's complaint was first dismissed by the provincial ombudsperson in Punjab. The singer had then sent an appeal to the Punjab governor, which met the same fate.

Special report: Sexual harassment in workplaces in Pakistan

Meesha, in her appeal filed in the LHC on Wednesday, argued that the decision given by the Punjab governor was "contrary to the law" and requested the court to overturn the verdict.

She appealed to the high court to initiate proceedings against Ali Zafar for harassment.

The high court issued pre-admission notices to Zafar, the provincial ombudsperson and the Punjab governor, demanding their responses on the matter, after which the court will decide upon the maintainability of the petition. The case has been adjourned.

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