A special division bench consisting of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan of the Lahore High Court will start hearing from July 22 a petition asking that all courts be considered highly-sensitive areas for security purposes.
At the previous hearing of the case before a single bench consisting of Justice Hassan, the court had issued notices to the home secretary, the inspector general of Punjab Police, the capital city police officer (CCPO) and the SP (Security) for Lahore. The judge had also requested the chief justice to form a larger bench to hear the petition as the matter was of grave importance.
The petitioner, Advocate Kashif Pasha, said that security measures at the courts were inadequate. This was evident from a series of attacks at court premises in recent years, including the assassinations of litigants, under-trial prisoners and lawyers at the sessions courts in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
The killings and other incidents of violence had created a “sense of terror” at the courts, he said.
The petitioner said that the police had failed in their duty to protect the citizens of Pakistan, especially prisoners in judicial custody and those who worked at the courts, ie, lawyers and judges.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.