Court orders Meesha Shafi to abstain from issuing negative remarks against Ali Zafar

Published January 24, 2019
Ali Zafar had accused Meesha Shafi of appearing before the media and levelling false allegations. —File
Ali Zafar had accused Meesha Shafi of appearing before the media and levelling false allegations. —File

A sessions court in Lahore on Thursday ordered Meesha Shafi to abstain from making any negative remarks against Ali Zafar over all media platforms, including social media, DawnNewsTV reported.

The court's decision, which comes as the latest development in the Ali Zafar-Meesha Shafi sexual harassment controversy, was read out by Additional Sessions Judge Shakeel Ahmed today after being reserved a day earlier.

Earlier, Zafar had submitted a petition before the court against Shafi, accusing her of appearing before the media and levelling baseless allegations against him. He had requested the court to issue restraining orders against Shafi.

The court heard the arguments from both sides on Wednesday and after accepting Zafar's plea, it ordered Shafi to cease and desist from making defamatory remarks against him.

Explore: Sexual Harassment: Pakistan's tipping point?

The controversy

On April 19, 2018, Meesha Shafi took to Twitter to accuse Ali Zafar of sexual harassment.

“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," the singer and actor had claimed in her tweet.

Following Shafi's allegations, several women had come forward on Twitter to also accuse Zafar of harassment.

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

Zafar then filed a defamation case against Shafi for damages worth Rs1 billion in June. Shafi then filed her response in October, in which she stated that Zafar had harassed her on more than two occasions.

"Ali Zafar harassed [me] at a private studio and family functions," she had said in the response submitted through her counsels Mohammad Saqib Jilani and Advocate Tasawwur.

She stated that she had been "compelled" to take action against Zafar because of the harassment incidents, adding that Zafar had also harassed several other female artists aside from her.

"I will also provide evidence [of the allegations] when the court asks for it," Shafi said.

Denying all defamation charges levelled against her by Zafar, she said Zafar "is trying to act innocent before the court".

The defamation case will next be heard on February 9, 2019.

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