Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi has won the first part of her defamation case against ARY’s UK broadcaster, New Vision TV Limited (NVTV), at the London High Court.
The court ruled that Shafi was defamed by the channel over several broadcasts related to her harassment case against singer Ali Zafar. Shafi sued NVTV after being accused of failing to obey Pakistani court orders by coming to Pakistan from Canada to record Coke Studio songs and then returning to Canada instead of attending court for two years in Zafar’s defamation lawsuit at Lahore sessions court.
During the broadcasts on December 5, 2020, the channel accused Shafi of not complying with court orders and deliberately ignoring them. The judge declared that the words broadcast were statements of fact, implying that court orders had been made requiring Shafi to attend court in Pakistan for defamation proceedings, and she deliberately ignored them. The judge ruled that this was defamatory at common law.
The court ordered a further hearing to set directions for how the case will proceed to trial. Meesha Shafi had previously won a case against a private TV channel in Pakistan’s media regulator PEMRA, and her lawyer emphasized the need for accountability and respect for national laws in media campaigns.