The Supreme Court (SC), on Tuesday, suspended an earlier order by the Lahore High Court (LHC) which had barred the singer’s counsel from the cross-examination of witnesses.
The top court also ordered Ali Zafar and his counsel to submit statements of witnesses in seven days and instructed Shafi’s lawyer to prepare for cross-examination of witnesses in the same time period.
“After preparation, counsel should try their best to cross-examine all witnesses on the same day,” advised the SC. The top court has also disallowed both parties from filing “unnecessary applications”.
The SC order was issued with the consent of both parties.
Shafi’s counsel informed the court that the defense does not know all of Zafar’s witnesses, who are also his employees. Zafar’s lawyer, however, stated that none of the witnesses are employed by him.
Justice Faiz Isa also asked Zafar’s counsel what his main objection was to Shafi’s request, to which he replied that according to law, witnesses are supposed to record testimonies and be cross-examined on the same day.
Justice Isa replied saying that it is on the discretion of the court. Shafi’s counsel added that if they are provided with a list of witnesses, they will cross-examine them on the day of testimony.
Shafi had challenged the LHC judgement in the apex court last month.
The LHC had set aside an earlier lower court directive that had mandated a conclusion to the defamation case by April 15 and instead gave the petitioners and respondents three months more.
In April 2018, Meesha had accused singer Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. While the singer took to the social media to make her voice heard, Zafar responded with legal advances, announcing he would be taking a professional route on the matter.