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JasperReports is an open source Java reporting tool that can write to a variety of targets, such as: screen, a printer, into PDF, HTML, Microsoft Excel, RTF, ODT, Comma-separated values or XML files. It can be used in Java-enabled applications, including Java EE or web applications, to generate dynamic content. It reads its instructions from an XML or .jasper file. ~wikipedia

Can you tell me of a scenario in which a malicious jasper file is uploaded and converted to actual java code (jsp shell) and give an attacker shell access?

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Why limit yourself to this attack vector? Being able to write XML which is in turn parsed by another application is often enough to execute code, read or write arbitrary files (XXE attack) through xml, xpath or xslt injection, depending on the configuration of the parser.

I would imagine the most likely attack to take place would be upload jasper that writes a malicious XML file which reads /etc/passwd, if any password hashes are stored in /etc/password these can be cracked to gain authorized access to the server.

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