LHC is set to announce verdict in Meesha Shafi case

LHC is set to announce verdict in Meesha Shafi case

LHC is set to announce verdict in Meesha Shafi case

Lahore High Court (LHC) is set to announce its verdict on Wednesday (9th March) in a petition of singer Meesha Shafi and others challenging a case registered under the cybercrime law on a complaint of actor-cum-singer Ali Zafar on a charge of running a malicious campaign against him.

Read more: Meesha’s plea seeking permanent exemption from appearance dismissed  

The petition filed by Shafi, Maham Javed, Iffat Omar, Fareeha Ayub, Haseemur Rehman and Syed Faizan Raza also challenged the validity of section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (Peca) as being in violation of fundamental rights of the citizens protected under the Constitution.

The federal government, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Zafar have been arrayed as respondents in the petition.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh had reserved the verdict on Dec 14, 2021 after lawyers from all parties concluded their arguments.


The petition filed through Advocate Saqib Jillani argues that the impugned FIR is an abuse of process and a violation of the petitioners’ right to a fair trial under Article 10-A of the Constitution in respect of the civil defamation suit.

It further argues that the section 20 of the Peca is unconstitutional as it gives the investigating agency unfettered powers to prosecute individuals for actions already penalized under two different statutes.

It states that the present classification and the introduction of section 20 Peca do not satisfy the test of reasonableness. It says there must be some rational and reasonable system or method under which it is determined whether to proceed under Peca or the Pakistan Penal Code.

The petition asks the court to quash the FIR lodged by the FIA against the petitioners and also declare the section 20 of Peca void being contrary to various provisions of the Constitution.

The trial in the FIR is pending before a judicial magistrate wherein applications of Shafi and Maham Javed for permanent exemption from personal appearance have been dismissed.

They have been summoned through bailable warrants of arrest for March 19.


Read more: Judicial magistrate issues bailable arrest warrant for singer Meesha Shafi

The FIA lodged the FIR under section 20 of the Peca and section 109 of Pakistan Penal Code against nine persons allegedly for running a smear campaign against the complainant on social media.

The agency in its challan (investigation report) said 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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