Most lawyers in the city did not appear before court on Friday on Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) call to express solidarity with the Supreme Court (SC).
Most of the lawyers at the district courts, Aiwan-i-Adal, Cantt courts, Model Town courts and Lahore High Court spent the day at their respective bars.
A meeting of the PBC’s executive meeting passed a unanimous resolution calling for a high level, transparent inquiry into the extortion claims made by Malik Riaz Hussain against Dr Arsalan Iftikhar without further politicisation of the matter.
The LBA has called for a strike on Saturday (today) against ‘conspiracies against the judicial system.’ On Friday, the LBA set up a protest camp at Aiwan-i-Adl. LBA president Chaudhary Zulfiqar Ali and vice president Rana Javed Bashir led the protest.
They said that they would stand with the judiciary. They accused the government and its agencies of hatching a conspiracy against the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), who they said was hearing some important cases. They also led lawyers chanting slogans in favour of the CJP.
A small number of lawyers appeared before courts for some urgent proceedings. However, most litigants did not get their day in court.
A meeting of the PBC executive body on Friday passed a resolution reiterating their commitment to supporting an independent judiciary.
The resolution said that the “PBC appreciates the positive role played by the judiciary in…the missing persons case and …key corruption cases.”
It said that the “PBC continues to encourage the SC to take up the challenges posed to it…”
It said that “the legal community remained disturbed at…the allegations of corruption against the CJP’s son.”
It also said that it was “fortunate the SC initiated suo motu proceedings and…referred [the matter] to the Attorney General.”
It said that “the PBC and the people of Pakistan expect that a high level, transparent and depoliticised investigation will be carried out expeditiously under an independent body.”
It said that “the bar warns that any politicization of this matter will [undermine] trust…in the executive.”
The PBC also expressed its concern over discussions in media on matters before courts.
The resolution further said that the PBC believed that a consensus on policy matters was required among bar associations and bar councils. It announced a meeting of the elected leaders of major bar associations and councils in Lahore on June 21. It said all former presidents of Supreme Court Bar Associations will also be invited to the meeting.
The agenda will include the standard procedure for calling strikes and rallies, adopting resolutions and preserving independence of bar association and councils.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.
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