LAHORE: Representatives of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) locked the district courts and halted case proceedings on Wednesday to protest over an FIR registered against some lawyers, including LBA Secretary Maqsood Khokhar.
Litigants were also unable to attend case proceedings.
Islampura police had registered an FIR against several lawyers, including LBA Secretary Maqsood Khokhar, for allegedly intervening in state matters and snatching case documents from a policeman. The FIR was registered under the sections 382, 353, 156, 109, 506, 149, 147 PPC and 155C of Police Order 2002.
The litigants were only allowed to attend their case proceedings in civil and family-related matters and others had to turn back. The district and sessions court, Model Town courts, Cantt and district courts were a no-go area. At the same time, some litigants were entering the court premises, but were restrained by lawyers.
Lawyers at Aiwan-e-Adl strongly condemned the registration of the FIR, terming it a cowardly move by the Islampura police. In their fiery speeches, they said they would cordon off the IGP office if the “forged” FIR was not cancelled.
Later, the lawyers took out a rally from Aiwan-e-Adl to the Lahore High Court. Around 100 lawyers took part in the demonstration. Punjab Bar Council member Rana Intizar Hussain said that lawyers were not requesting the Punjab police to cancel the FIR, but warned of a countrywide strike if the false charge were not withdrawn.
He said that lawyers could not be made to cower, even by dictators. "The FIR is nothing but a concocted story by police officials just to humiliate respected lawyers."
Former LHCBA president Abid Saqi condemned the registration of the FIR by the police, warning of a future plan for lawyers if it was not withdrawn. He said that they would not let the “cowardly moves” of police officials succeed.
Later, LHCBA issued a press release, saying LBA, LHCBA, Punjab Bar Council and Pakistan Bar Council members strongly condemned the incident and termed it a conspiracy to create conflict between lawyers and the police department. It added that the lawyers always worked for the supremacy of law and raised voices against cruelty. They demanded the removal of the person who caused a conflict between the bar and the police. They also said the FIR must be withdrawn.
Several litigants who visited the district courts from far-flung areas were not allowed to enter to attend their case proceedings.
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