Advocate general’s team draws court’s ire

Additional AG says some cases not given proper attention due to workload


​ Our Correspondent February 11, 2020
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Lahore High Court’s Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi grilled Advocate General of Punjab Jamal Ahmed Sukhaira on Monday after a law officer failed to assist the court in a case.

Justice Naqvi remarked that it would be mentioned in the order that some people were not working efficiently.

“This court is not satisfied with the performance of the office of advocate general Punjab,” the judge remarked.

Law Secretary Nazir Ahmed Gajana and Advocate General Sukhaira appeared before the court on the judge’s directive.

Justice Naqvi told Sukhaira that Additional Advocate General Zafar Hussain Ahmed had stated in the court that “they are overburdened owing to the preparation of a heavy volume of cases, as a result of which some cases are prepared while the rest are not given proper attention”. Is that statement justified, asked Justice Naqvi. He asked whether the advocate general’s office was responsible for the statement.

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Sukhaira replied that the additional advocate general had told him that he had assisted the court on several other matters during the day but could not do so in one instance as he could not complete preparation for that case.

Justice Naqvi remarked that he was not satisfied with the performance of the advocate general’s office.

“Where were you? We always saw the advocate general Punjab in the most senior judge’s courtroom at 9am,” Justice Naqvi said. “I am leaving for Islamabad to appear before the country’s top court,” Advocate General Sukhaira replied. The judge said no one had informed the court about this. He said the court was told after every 10 minutes that the advocate general was arriving after a message asking him to appear was sent.

The judge said the lawyer representing the other side came from Islamabad to attend the proceedings but the additional advocate general was not prepared.

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Sukhaira replied that his office could not prepare one case while in the rest of the cases he fully assisted the court.

He said the court could make a decision as it pleased, but Justice Naqvi said the court acted in accordance with the law. Finally, the judge fixed the next date of the case.

Justice Naqvi had summoned Sukhaira after the additional advocate general gave the statement about his lack of preparation.

As the proceedings commenced for the second time, Justice Naqvi asked where the advocate general was. At this point, he also summoned the law secretary.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2020.

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