LAHORE: A sessions court has directed singer Meesha Shafi to ensure her remaining cross-examination on June 15 in a defamation suit filed against her by actor-cum-singer Ali Zafar.
In the written order of June 6 hearing, Additional District and Sessions Judge Khan Mahmood notes, `this case is pending adjudication since June 23, 2018 and evidence of plaintiff has already been completed whereas the case is pending for evidence of the defendant` Zafar`s counsel Umar Tariq Gill said that since January 2022 the defendant (Shafi) remained unable to produce any evidence. He asked the court to take punitive action against the defendant as he claimed the defendant was not interested in the evidence and the case was being delayed.
He pointed out that a petition of the defendant for her online cross-examination had also been dismissed by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Shafi`s counsel Rai Asad Dhudi said the defendant challenged the decision of the L HC before the Supreme Court. However, he did not produce any injunctive order ofthe apexcourtandrequested the courtto adjourn the suit.
The judge allowed the request and adjourned the hearing till June 15 for evidence of the defendant, including the cross-examination of her witnesses whose examination in chief had been recorded.
`In this situation, the defendant shall ensure production of evidence failing which law will adopt its own course,` the order concludes.
In his suit, Zafar said the allegations of sexual harassment by Shafi tarnished his image in public and his family had been facing agony and pain. He asked the court toissue a decree against Shañand direct her to pay Rslbn as damages to him.
Dismissing the petition of Shafi, the LHC had observed that the proceedings in the defamation suit were on the verge of conclusion, and this was not such where the proceedings and evidence could be recorded through a video link.
Shafi pleaded she had to leave for Canada on account of family reasons and unfortunately her nine-year-old daughter contracted Covid-19 and she had to attend to her. Staff Reporter