SC allows Canada-based singer's cross-examination via video link.

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court on Monday allowed cross-examination of singer Meera Shafi, popularly known as Meesha Shafi, by a trial court through videoconferencing from Canada.

The singer is embroiled in a defamation suit with popular celebrity Ali Zafar.

'The question that falls for our consideration is: whether the evidence of a witness who is not physically present in court can be recorded in a civil case by using the modern technology of video conferencing, within the existing legal framework,' observed Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a judgement he wrote adding her evidence was very much essential to just decision of the case, the 12-page judgement said.

A two-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, had taken up an appeal of Meesha Shafi against the May 18, 2022 Lahore High Court (LHC) order that disallowed a similar request.

Meesha Shafi won't need to visit Pakistan embassy for the purpose, court rules

Meesha Shafi is the only defendant in the suit who lives in Canada since 2016 with her family, including two children, therefore, her evidence is very much essential to just decision of the case, the 12-page judgement added.

The singer comes to Pakistan only when there is a working schedule for her. Waiting for her such a schedule would certainly cause a delay in the decision of the suit, and forcing her to come to Pakistan from Canada by leaving her children there or carrying them with her would incur such expense and inconvenience which surely appears unreasonable under the circumstances of the case, the judgement explained.

The judgement also rejected requirement of the singer to go to the Pakistan embassy in Canada and to involve any officer of the embassy in the process of recording her remaining cross-examination through videoconferencing, saying there was no dispute as to the identity of the singer, nor was there any serious apprehension that the petitioner would be under the influence of or tutored by any other person in the course of recording her remaining cross-examination.

In the 21st century, the judgement said, technological advancement has reached an unprecedented speed. A technological change is thus often so radical that it...

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