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Court summons absentee suspects Meesha Shafi, Maham in ALi Zafar case on March 19

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A local magistrate dismissing applications of local singer Meesha Shafi and Maham Javed seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance in a case of running a malicious campaign against actor-singer Ali Zafar on social media.

The magistrate summoned the absentee suspects including Meesha Shafi and Maham through bailable warrants of arrest of Rs.50,000 each for March 19.

The magistrate dismissing Meesha’s application observed that the suspects are making mockery of the process of law and court. `They are playing hide and seek before the court and due to their absence, trial of the case has been hampered badly.’

Meesha and Maham had moved the applications submitting that they were permanent residents of Canada and United States respectively and it was difficult or them to appear before the court on each and every hearing due to their professional engagements outside the country. Their counsel also submitted that they had appointed their pleaders who would appear on each and every hearing on their behalf, therefore, their attendants may be dispensed with till the decision of the case and they may be allowed to appear before the court through their counsel.

They also referred to different judgments of the superior courts in support of their applications.

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The magistrate while rejecting their applications obsered that perusal of the record reveals that the challan (investigation report)  was submitted on December 21, 2020 and despite issuance of summons and bailable warrant of arrest the suspects never turned up to appear before the court.

For the first time they appeared before the court on December 4, 2021 and on the very first day they moved the applications for exemption from appearance.

He also observed that three adjournments were taken by the complainant’s counsel to argue these applications but again on January 31 they moved an application for their personal dispensation of attendants for one day which was dismissed and after that they never appeared before the court to contest the case filed against them.

The magistrate held that in these circumstances, they are not entitled to discretionary relief from this court,” the magistrates stated dismissing the applications.

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The magistrate also dismissed acquittal applications of two other suspects Ali Gul Pir and Leena Ghani with an observation that they had not denied sharing the posts against the complainant on social media. He observes that not even a single ground had been agitated in the petitions from which the court can ascertained that no incriminating material is available on the file.

`Hence, the petitions filed by the accused Ali GuI Pir and Ms Leena Ghani are meritless and the same are hereby dismissed,” says the order.’

The FIA had lodged the FIR under section 20 of the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act and section 109 of Pakistan Penal Code against nine persons allegedly for running a smear campaign against the complainant on social media. The FIA in its challan (investigation report) stated that the investigation established that all the suspects including Shafi posted serious/direct allegations and defamatory /derogatory content on social media against the complainant.

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