On Friday Lahore High Court finally disposed of the appeal initiated by well-known singer Meesha Shafi against another megastar of Pakistani media Ali Zafar.
The appeal was filed in August 2018, right after when her appeal in which she accused Ali Zafar accused of sexual harassment was dismissed by Punjab Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace and governor.
The verdict was reserved by honorable Justice Shahid Kareem on October 2 after hearing the final arguments by lawyers.
Earlier her application was rejected on the technical ground by the provincial department working for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace, in which they elaborated that both parties didn’t share the relation of employee-employer, so the case didn’t fall in the domain. So it cannot be heard at that forum.
After that she appealed against that decision in front of Punjab governor, however, the Punjab governor upheld the same decision given by ombudsperson’s on July 2018, of dismissing her appeal on “technical grounds”.
Shafi had no choice but to access the LHC to challenge the governor’s decision. Legal Representative from Shafi, Barrister Ahmed Pansota and Saqib Jilani briefed the court about the dismissal of their application from both ombudsperson’s office and governor of Punjab office on technical grounds.
The council discussed that it was not a qualification criterion for both parties to have an employer-employee relationship in a case of sexual harassment and that the provincial department can be accessed containing a complaint regarding sexual harassment at the workplace.
It was requested in the petition before the court to consider invalidation of the governor’s verdict to dismiss Shafi’s complaint and to arrange the initiation of proceedings against Zafar for physically mishandling.
However, the legal team from Ali Zafar had argued that the case did not fall under the domain of the law related to harassment at the workplace.