ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) began hearing Meesha Shafi’s petition pertaining to the defamation case filed by Ali Zafar.
In her petition, Shafi’s legal team notes that it is a basic right to cross-examine witnesses presented in the court and that the apex court should grant the right, thereby, declaring the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision null and void.
During Thursday’s hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the court would decide when the statements of witnesses would be recorded. The remark was made after Justice Ahsan questioned Meesha Shafi’s lawyer over wanting to record all witness statements at the same time and then cross-questioning them together.
Justice Ahsan informed Meesha Shafi’s lawyer that statements could not be recorded according to his wishes, with the judge adding that the lawyer was being biased.
Justice Ahsan remarked that the court wanted to make it clear what took place in the jamming session.
He also asked Meesha Shafi’s lawyer how many years had he been practising law, to which the response was 11 years. The judge then asked that in the 11 years of experience had Meesha Shafi’s lawyer every seen all witness statements being recorded first and then cross-questioning taking place. Justice Ahsan added that in his 30 years of experience, there was no precedent for this.
The lawyer responded that he could provide several views from court decisions and in several decisions, this was mentioned by courts. Justice Ahsan responded that court decisions were not heavenly scriptures and they could be wrong.
The lawyer for Ali Zafar informed the court that till now only one out of 11 witnesses had recorded their statement.
The hearing of the case was adjourned for next week.
Meesha Shafi had accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment in April 2018. In response to the allegation, Zafar had filed a defamation suit against Meesha Shafi.