LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has allowed a civil revision petition of singer Meesha Shafi and set aside a ruling by a sessions court wherein proceedings on her defamation suit against actor-cum-singer Ali Zafar had been suspended.
Shafi and Zafar have been pursuing the legal fight against each other since 2018 when the former accused the latter of causing her sexual harassment on multiple occasions.
Zafar filed a defamation suit of Rs1bn against the female singer who also filed a subsequent suit against the actor, which was taken up by the same sessions court.
Advocate Saqib Jillani argued before the high court that the respondent (Zafar) instead of filing a reply to the suit of the petitioner requested the sessions court to stay the subsequent suit. He said the respondent had argued that the subsequent suit by the petitioner related to the same matter raised in the former suit.
The counsel argued that the issues in the former suit were not directly and substantially the same as the subsequent suit.
He said the suit filed by the petitioner was not liable to stay as it had arisen of separate and distinct causes of action. He argued that the sessions court erred in holding that the fate of the subsequent suit hung in the balance and was entirely dependent upon the decision of the former suit.
He contended that this view taken by the lower court was entirely misplaced and this alone was sufficient ground for setting aside the impugned order.
He asked the court to set aside the impugned decision by the trial court with a direction to conduct the defamation trial in accordance with the principles of a fair trial.
Announcing a short order, Justice Asim Hafeez allowed the petition of Shafi and set aside the impugned decision. After this decision, the trial court is supposed to hear both defamation suits simultaneously.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022