ISLAMABAD: The executive committee of the Pakistan Bar Council on Wednesday questioned the authority of Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah to constitute a ‘disciplinary committee’ under the Legal Practitioners & Bar Councils Act-1973 to initiate action against lawyers for misconduct.
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Chief Justice Shah, soon after taking oath of his office on Tuesday, constituted a ‘disciplinary committee’ headed by him and comprising six judges.
According to a court notification, the committee will exercise powers under the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act-1973 to curb the rising trend of misbehaviour in courts, restore a working relationship between the bar and the bench and establish effective monitoring against untoward incidents in courts.
The committee, headed by the chief justice, included Justice Syed Muhammad Kazim Raza Shamsi, Justice Mehmood Maqbool Bajwa, Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Justice Abdul Sami Khan, Justice Ibadur-ur-Rehman Lodhi and Justice Atir Mahmood as its members.
More than 5,000 complaints against lawyers filed before the Punjab Bar Council disciplinary committee are awaiting decisions.
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The PCB committee, while saying that the decision amounts to interfering with and encroaching upon the jurisdiction of bar councils, vowed “to protect and preserve it’s (the Pakistan Bar Council) jurisdiction”.
“It is the considered view of the Pakistan Bar Council that the disciplinary matters exclusively fall within the jurisdiction of bar councils and the council will not accept any encroachment upon its jurisdiction.”
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The PBC called upon the newly appointed LHC chief justice to withdraw the notification.
PBC executive member Azam Nazeer Tarar said the chief justice has formed a dispute resolution committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2016.
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