KARACHI: Courts across the city wore a deserted look on Friday, as the legal fraternity continued their boycott of legal proceedings on the third consecutive day to protest the kidnapping of the son of Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.
Advocate Owais Ali Shah was kidnapped on Tuesday. Lawyers stayed away from legal proceedings at the SHC, City Courts, Malir District Courts and other special courts and tribunals in the city. They did not turn up to plead their cases. As a result, a large number of cases were simply adjourned without any hearing.
Making it the longest strike in years following the restoration of the judiciary at the end of the two-year-long countrywide movement by the legal fraternity against the sacking of judges by Pervez Musharraf, the lawyers vowed to continue their protest till Advocate Shah's recovery.
Members of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) and Malir District Bar Association expressed their frustration over the failure of law enforcement agencies in finding any clues as to the whereabouts of the victim despite the lapse of four days.
They also reiterated their demand for protection to members of the judiciary, lawyers as well as common citizens. The lawyers' leaders, including KBA president Mehmoodul Hasan, expressed their concerns over the worsening law and order situation in Karachi.
On Wednesday, Qawwal Amjad Sabri was gunned down by unknown armed motorcyclists in Liaquatabad.
The legal fraternity has been protesting the kidnapping of Advocate Shah since Wednesday. Their boycott has caused difficulties for litigants as well as under-trial prisoners, whose cases have not proceeded during the last three days.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2016.