The Islamabad High Court (IHC) decided to view the legal points in a case seeking restoration of lawyers' licences, which were suspended in misconduct matter pertaining to the attack on IHC building. A larger bench of IHC headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case on Monday.
A three-member bench of IHC headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, comprising of Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case pertaining to four different complaints by the IHC registrar.
The petitioners' lawyer Shoaib Shaheen contended that the licences could only be suspended for three months, which were over. At this, Justice Minallah said that the matter would eventually land in the bar for a decision. He added that finding out who committed the misconduct was the council’s job.
The chief justice remarked that only the bar councils would point out who was involved in the misconduct during the incident. He asked the lawyer to submit their comments so that the reference could be sent to the bar council.
The lawyer adopted the stance that the matter could not be sent to the bar council as the complainant in the case was someone else. The chief justice commented that now the complaint would be sent from this court.
Advocate Mushtaq Chaudhry also maintained that three months have passed and submission of the answer was not required. He added that they sought a copy of the complaint but they were not provided with it. Chaudhry said that they should get to know about the charges on the lawyers so that they could submit answers.
Justice Minallah said that they had elucidated everything in the order. Once again, Chaudhry demanded a copy of the complaints against the lawyers, maintaining that Minallah’s order was not the complaint he received.
The chief justice remarked that they were going through a difficult situation as they had to ensure a fair trial too. At this, the counsel contended that lawyers’ chambers had been razed down which was enough, suggesting that they should be forgiven now. He once again pleaded with the court to wind up the matter.
Another lawyer, Riyasat Ali, said that Zafar Khokar’s role was to stop the attackers while proposing to be beheaded if it is proven that he delivered a provocative speech on February 8. Moreover, Advocate Khalid Khan said that the bar association had exonerated him and Shahista Tabassum from the vandalism incident.
The IHC also disposed of the petition regarding restoration of 3G and 4G services in the merged tribal areas. Deputy Attorney General (DAG), counsel of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and representative of interior ministry appeared before the court on Monday.
The ministry’s representative informed the court about the defence ministry’s schedule for the restoration of internet service in the tribal areas. He added that the schedule has been shared with PTA as well.
Justice Minallah said that action was being taken on the petitioner’s concerns and disposed of the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2021.