Courts and lawyers: 2019 – the year of black coat strikes

Lawyers attend court proceedings in Faisalabad on only 109 days

Ahtishamul Haq January 04, 2020


All institutions stage protests to protect the violation of its members’ rights, but the country’s legal fraternity can be called habitual when it comes to calling for a strike most of the time. The year 2019 has been a year of strikes for the District Bar Association Faisalabad. This clearly showed how lawyers were misusing bar council rules 1976 for unnecessary strike calls.

Out of 365 days, the lawyers were on strike for 256 days throughout the year and attended court proceedings only on 109 days. As a result, complainants suffered. The lawyers of Faisalabad went on a strike six times against judicial policy. The District Bar Association boycotted the court eight days either due to the death of lawyers or their relatives.

The strike remained continued for 24 days in a row over filing cases against lawyers’ torture and illegal activities by the bar. They also went on a three-day strike and judicial boycott against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir. The lawyers even called for a strike to support or oppose the illegal action of their fellow lawyers and also called for a strike if any police or judicial proceeding occurred against them.

This year, Advocate Rana Imran Manj was arrested for allegedly hitting a senior civil judge with a chair in Jaranwala. He was convicted by the Anti-Terrorism Court and lawyers also went on a strike for seven days in solidarity with Manj. Moreover, Former minister of law Rana Sanaullah was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Force and lawyers from Faisalabad called for a one-day strike just because Sanaullah was a member of the Faisalabad District Bar Association.

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There were 49 Sundays last year. In August, other than the summer holidays, courts remained closed for 30 days. Strikes continued to affect the trial, which had benefited the non-arrest of the accused in filing bail.

Besides this, there were also days when the lawyers decided to go on a strike after two hours of appearing in the courts as per the decision of the general house.

The lawyers' strike had caused distress among petitioners who came from far away. The majority of plaintiff who appeared in the courts came from remote villages and were unaware of the strike.

People usually came to appear in the courts and arrived at the district court only to find out about the strike.

No further developments occurred in the case of complainants, who paid thousands of rupees to lawyers but they did not appear in the courts because they were on strikes.

Therefore, the cases litigated for several years. The courts of Faisalabad have dealt with 508,73 cases last year. These cases include various writ petitions, claims and cases.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior lawyer said that last year the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a stringent order that prompt decision should be made on the cases. The disposed of cases also included petitions and writ petitions that were dismissed after the settlement, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2020.


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