CJP’s statement doesn’t go down well with bar

PBC issues a statement saying act of individual lawyers does not reflect bar collectively

Hasnaat Malik July 25, 2019
Clash started when Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa took steps for judicial reforms

ISLAMABAD: The gulf between the superior judiciary and the bar is widening day by day. The clash started when Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa took steps for judicial reforms in the country especially in respect of Sections 22A and 22B of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and establishment of model courts.

Lawyers boycotted the court proceedings over these initiatives. Later, the matter was amicably resolved between bench and bar. However, tension again rose over presidential references filed against two judges – Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court and Justice K K Agha of the Sindh High Court.

Harsh statements were issued against top judges by the Supreme Court Bar Association President Amanullah Kanrani.  The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) formed vigilant committees to identify inefficient judges so that complaints of misconduct against them could be filed in the Supreme Judicial Council.

Tensions have further intensified over the CJP Khosa’s recent statement that that lawyer should launch a movement for restoration of the dignity of the legal profession ‘Tehreek-e-Bahali Izat-e-Wukla’ and the PBC Vice Chairman Syed Amjad Shah has expressed serious reservation over the CJP’s statement.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Shah said lawyers as a community have always struggled for the noble cause of supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and above all for Independence of judiciary.

He admitted that there may be some ‘untoward’ incidents involving individual advocates but the lawyers’ fraternity as a whole cannot be held responsible for such acts.

“It may not be out of place to refer the recent very unfortunate cases of the Judge Mr Arshed Malik,  Shoukat Hayat, Civil Judge, Rawalpindi and the unbecoming conduct of District Judge, Rawalpindi, which are very serious setbacks to the institution of Judiciary, to say the least.

“Therefore, it is imperative that the said cases [be] thoroughly investigated to be followed by strict action against the delinquent judges as per the law, in the larger interest of the judiciary and to safeguard its respect and dignity,” he said.

He said lawyers throughout the country will observe nationwide strike on Saturday, July 27, to condemn filing of mala fide references by the government against the two judges.

Shah said the second All Pakistan Lawyers Convention – which is part of a series of conventions started in Peshawar on July 13 against the government’s move against independent judges – will be held on July 27 in premises of the Islamabad Bar Association at the federal capital’s F-8 Markaz.

“[This convention] will be attended by lawyers from whole of Pakistan. The lawyers besides condemning the mala fide references against two judges will also consider other important matters pertaining to system of dispensation of Justice,” said the statement.

The PBC executive member Raheel Kamran Sheikh while commenting over prevailing situation said those who live in glass houses cannot throw stones, adding that vulnerabilities of both, the bar and the courts, are not hidden anymore.

“Therefore, it is only imperative on part of both not to lose their focus and make bona fide constructive efforts to strengthen this organ of the state by focusing on their key functions, performances and serious threats  and challenges instead of indulging in aimless criticism of each other,” he added.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ