LHC rejects Meesha Shafi’s appeal in harassment case

LHC rejects Meesha Shafi's harassment case
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has rejected a petition filed by singer Meesha Shafi challenging the dismissal of her complaint against musician Ali Zafar on harassment charges.
The appeal was filed in August 2018. Meesha Shafi had challenged the Punjab ombudsperson for sexual harassment in the workplace and the governor’s decision to dismiss her complaint against Zafar.  The verdict in the case was reserved on October 2 after hearing arguments from both sides.
Shafi’s case has been dismissed by the Lahore High Court for the third time. The appeal was initially rejected by the provincial ombudsman on a technicality that she and Zafar did not have an employee-employer relationship and that it was not the appropriate forum.

The decision was appealed before the Punjab governor who upheld the decision of the ombudsman in July 2018, and subsequently, an appeal was filed in the Lahore High Court to challenge the governor’s decision.

The counsel for Shafi argued that appeal was rejected on the basis that it was not the appropriate forum, however, it was not necessary for the two parties to an employee-employer relationship in a case of sexual harassment at the workplace. However, Zafar’s counsel argued that that case did not fall under laws concerning workplace harassment.

Also read: Meesha Shafi files Rs 2bn defamation suit against Ali Zafar
In this regard, Ali Zafar posted a tweet by stating, “Ms. Shafi’s case dismissed by the Lahore High Court. This is the 3rd dismissal. Fake allegations by opportunists can destroy lives and undermine genuine victims. We fought to set a precedent. All evidence submitted will be public soon. Thank you for your love and support.”

Last year, Meesha Shafi accused Ali Zafar of physical advances on more than one occasion. She denied the assertions of Zafar and stuck to her allegations of harassment against him. Both parties are pursuing defamation suits against each other before a sessions court.
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