SC hears Meesha Shafi’s appeal in Ali Zafar defamation case


Singers Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar’s case was taken up by the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, as the apex court heard the appeal in which Meesha had challenged the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order through which her plea for joint cross-examination of witnesses was rejected.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan was hearing the case. The presiding judge asked Shafi’s counsel under which law he wanted the testimonies of all the witnesses to be recorded together.

He said it was for the court to decide how the statements of the witnesses will be recorded, telling the lawyer that the court could not do the same “according to your wishes”.

Shafi’s lawyer argued that he wanted to establish before the court “what had transpired during the jam session”, during which Shafi had accused Zafar of harassing her.

After questioning the counsel about his experience practising law, Justice Ahsan asked the lawyer whether he had ever observed in his 11-year career that the statements of all witnesses were recorded together and then they were cross-examined later.

“There is no such precedent in my 30-year judicial experience,” the judge remarked.

But Shafi’s lawyer maintained that he could cite several past court judgements to support his client’s appeal.

“You cannot because there are zero court precedents,” Justice Ahsan retorted.

The lawyer further argued that the court had talked about the issue in several past verdicts.

“A court judgement is not some divine script,” Justice Ahsan replied, reminding the lawyer that court judgements “can also be wrong”.

The lawyer representing Zafar informed the bench the statement of one out of 11 witnesses has already been recorded.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case until next week.