Are lawyers above the law?

How are they allowed to get away with acts of violence when others are duly punished?

Fassi Farooq June 05, 2012
Having successfully restored deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, some lawyers - we all know who I am referring to - have started to think that they are above the law.

The recent attacks by lawyers on policemen, readers and judges are truly abominable. These acts of mob violence can be expected from the uneducated masses. However, coming from a highly educated bunch, this uncouth aggression is shocking, to say in the least.

There has been a string of incidents across Punjab in the past few months where lawyers have manhandled policemen and court readers, entering into unwarranted arguments and abusing the judges of the subordinate judiciary.

A few days ago, some angry lawyers had forced civil judge Saif Ullah into his courtroom, and locked it behind them. They thrashed him and hurled abuses at him.

More recently, a group of lawyers maltreated a judge’s reader at civil courts and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) from Gujranwala was kicked and punched. His uniform was torn to pieces in the premises of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Can you imagine the level of barbarianism our educated has stooped to? To malign some one in a courtroom - a place reseved for justice, is completely ludicrous.

Interestingly enough, not one lawyer has been punished, so far, in any of the incidents as they managed to secure bail.

The LHC Judge took the notice of beating of ASI and summoned the High Court Bar Association representatives after the civil courts employees abandoned their work and went on strike against the rough attitude meted out to their colleague. However, no action has been taken against the responsible lawyers thus far.

Are our lawyers above the law?

How are they allowed to get away with acts of violence when others are duly punished?

A couple of incidents were reported in the recent past where lawyers tortured policemen for not giving statements of their liking in the court. All civil judges of Lahore and Faisalabad observed a pen-down strike in March this year against the alleged torture of their colleagues by lawyers.

Such incidents are worrisome as the height of vandalism was reached on the part of those who are expected to uphold the rule of law in the country. If the legal fraternity is violating the law of the land and no action is being taken against them by the bars and the courts, then one shudders to think where our country is heading.

Apparently certain black sheep have entered this noble profession who want to make their name by bullying the prosecutors, witnesses and judges to get verdicts of their desires.

This trend cannot be accepted by a civilised society. The entire community of lawyers will lose its credibility in the eyes of the people if these lawyers escape unpunished.

Hence, it is the responsibility of the Bar Associations to call a national-level meeting and take a firm decision to deal with such condemnable acts, including a lifetime ban on the practice of legal profession towards those indulging in such behaviour and violating the code of ethics.

In addition to this, the Supreme Court should also take suo moto notice of the issue in order to uphold it's dignity and honour.

Follow Fassi on Twitter @fassifarooq
Fassi Farooq An Islamabad based writer who works for and tweets @fassifarooq
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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