LAHORE: It is encouraging to see the bar and bench holding talks to end the culture of strikes and boycotts of court proceedings that take place every now and then.
The judiciary, being the custodian of the constitution and public rights, has been trying for a long time to convince the bar to end unnecessary strikes as the litigants suffer unnecessarily. And concerted efforts of Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah seem to be bearing fruits now.
Last week, representatives of the Supreme Court Bar Association held a meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to solve the issue.
Representatives of the Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar Association, Punjab Bar Council, Lahore High Court Bar Association and Lahore Bar Association gave their assurances to the CJP that they would not boycott court proceedings unnecessarily anymore. They also condemned the irresponsible behaviour of the lawyers towards judges of the subordinate judiciary.
If the bar representatives succeed in convincing their colleagues of ending the strike culture, it will be a great service to society as the boycotts are a major hurdle in the way of dispensation of justice.
No judge can take up a case on the day the bar announces strike. Some incidents like police raid at some lawyer’s house, killing of a lawyer, arrest of a lawyer or non-fulfilment of a lawyer’s demand by any judge can be a reason for lawyers’ strike.
These strikes have undoubtedly lowered the status of the prestigious institution in the eyes of public. It will be appropriate to say that due to the presence of a handful of black sheep in the bars, the whole institution is now considered a pressure group.
It is the right time for the representatives of the bars to take some effective steps to end the culture of strikes. But it is easier said than done as it will be a bitter pill to swallow for some elements at the bar. Persistency may quell this culture.
In the meeting with lawyers on Saturday, the CJP along with the LHC chief justice ensured the lawyers of his cooperation to uphold morality and professionalism. He added that every issue could be solved through dialogue.
The bar representatives need to take advantage of this opportunity and quell the culture of strikes and revive the status and prestige of the bar. The bar is the institute which always said no to dictatorship and struggled for democracy and supremacy of law even more than the political parties.
In this way, services of the bar are far more superior than those of the political parties to ensure the provision of basic rights to people.
Having rendered these remarkable services for society, the bar should initiate a movement to restore its own prestige by discouraging the elements bringing a bad name to it.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2017.
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