KARACHI: The legal fraternity boycotted the courts in Sindh on Friday on the call of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) protesting filing of references against the two judges of the superior courts.
The strike call was backed by the Sindh High Court Bar Association, Sindh Bar Council and district bar associations in the province to express their displeasure with the two presidential references filed in Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Jsutice KK Agha.
However, a small group of lawyers associated with Lawyers Action Committee broke the lock of City Courts’ main gate while shouting slogans against PBC and SCBA leadership and condemning the call of strike.
The PBC had called a strike for June 14, to coincide with the hearing of presidential reference at SJC in Islamabad. The protesting lawyers holding placards and wearing armbands rallied and boycotted the judicial proceedings. The protesting lawyers shouted slogans severely against the reference. The judges stayed inside their chambers due to lawyers’ strike while the court’s staff was also absent. Few lawyers pleaded their cases inside their chambers, however, the overall hearings of cases were affected due to the strike.
Karachi Bar Association’s (KBA) president Naeem Qureshi said that the references filed against the judges should be taken back because the references are based on mala fide intentions.
He said that there was no division among the lawyers and “we are united in our decisions. All the leaders and members of bar are present here and there is not a single lawyer shouting slogans in favour of the reference”. Qureshi said that we will show our power in July after the vacations which will indicate that bar is strong and united.
But the lawyers belonging to the Lawyers Action Committee opposed the strike and protest. Action Committee leader Gulfaraz Khattak said that everyone should be held accountable. “Why do they fear if they haven’t done anything wrong? They should face the reference.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2019.