All sessions court judges and staff on Saturday boycotted work to protest a lawyer’s assault on an additional district and sessions’ judge after the latter had passed a verdict against him in a petition filed by his tenants.
A meeting was later held between sessions court judges and representatives of the district bar association.
The former announced plans to prosecute Advocate Chaudhary Masood for hitting ADSJ Asad Ali with a shoe and trying to beat him up in his court room. The judges also voiced concern over, what they said was, a rising trend among lawyers to abuse judges over rulings that went against them or their clients. The DBA representatives assured the judges of prompt action against the lawyer if he was found guilty of misconduct.
Later, the DBA president Munawar Sadhu suspended Advocate Masood’s membership and ordered an inquiry against him. The DBA has also convened a meeting on Monday (May 7) to review progress in the matter.
Witnesses told The Express Tribune that Advocate Masood had hurled his shoe towards the judge over an argument on his decision to de-seal his commercial property in Lyallpur Town.
The lawyer had argued that the building had been declared unfit and sealed by the town municipal administration three months ago. He said the building was in a dilapidated condition. “The building may collapse if businesses are allowed to continue operating in it,” he said. “The responsibility for the loss of human lives will lie with t he court,” he said.
The judge, however, directed the Lyallpur TMO to de-seal the building and let the tenants continue their businesses.
‘Chief Justice should stop judges from boycotting work’
Talking to The Express Tribune, several litigants said they were disappointed to be told to return for hearing at a later date. “The chief justice of Pakistan should prohibit judges from going on strike and boycotting work,” said Allah Wasaya, a litigant.
Zainab Bibi, whose husband’s trial in a theft case was scheduled for Saturday, said it was unfair to make the litigants bear the brunt of a confrontation between judges and lawyers.
“My husband is in police’s custody. I have to pay for the commute from home to court from my meager savings,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.