LAHORE: A sessions court on Thursday decided to first conclude hearing on a defamation suit by singer/actor Ali Zafar against fellow singer Meesha Shafi before resuming hearing on a similar suit by the latter against the former.

Zafar had claimed Rs1bn damages from Ms Shafi for levelling ‘baseless’ allegations of sexual harassment against him. He said the allegations tarnished his image in public while his family had been facing agony and pain.

District and Sessions Judge Amjad Ali Shah is seized with the suit of Zafar and witnesses of the defendant are being testified. The plaintiff has already presented its witnesses.

During the pendency of Zafar’s suit, Ms Shafi also filed a Rs2 billion defamation suit against Zafar. She also accused him of tarnishing her reputation and public image by levelling false allegations.

Ms Shafi said Zafar claimed that she reported the incidents of sexual harassment only to obtain nationality of Canada or to mint money from him. She said the defendant also tried to brand her as a person having disrespect for courts.

Mr Zafar had filed an application with the court requesting it to halt proceedings on Ms Shafi’s suit till conclusion of the pending proceedings on his suit.

Announcing a reserved verdict, D&SJ Shah allowed the application and decided to first conclude the ongoing proceedings in Zafar’s suit.

In this case, Ms Shafi, her mother Saba Hameed, her husband Mehmoodur Rehman, her project manager Farhan Ali and senior actor Iffat Omar have recorded their statements so far.

Zafar and his witnesses also recorded their statements denying the charges by the defendant.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020