Jaranwala Bar Association on Wednesday called a boycott of the courts following a scuffle between some lawyers and the police over walking through the police station while heading towards the tehsil court.
A policeman, who was present at the station at the time the incident took place, told The Express Tribune that the police stopped some lawyers who used the police station premises as a shortcut to the court. He said when the lawyers ignored the policemen, some police officers tried to block their way. This led to an argument between the policemen and the lawyers, followed by a scuffle.
One of the lawyers alleged that the policemen had pushed some lawyers and sworn at them. The two groups were later separated by other policemen.
Following the incident, the lawyers held a protest meeting and boycotted the court proceedings. They gathered outside the court and chanted slogans against the police.
The lawyers also demanded that the senior police officers take notice of the incident and punish the officials who had mistreated the lawyers.
One of the lawyers said that there was no sign or notice prohibiting people from passing through the police station.
Jaranwala Bar Association President Tanveer Ahmed Bhatti told The Tribune that they resorted to boycott as their colleagues were “disgraced”. He said it was the lawyers’ constitutional right to raise voice against such mishandling.
A number of litigants complained that the lawyers’ boycott had affected their hearings.
Saima Babi, perusing a case in a civil court, said, “The lawyers stage a drama every other day. I am appearing in the court for the last eight years for a property dispute case. I have seen the lawyers creating a fuss out of small issues.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.