ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Tuesday announced banning Law Minister Babar Awan’s entry into bar rooms and also returned the Rs1 million cheque he had given to the association on Monday for the welfare of its employees.
SCBA president Qazi Anwar told a press conference that the law minister had given the wrong impression to the legal community about his accepting the cheque. He said Awan tried to divide the lawyers by giving the money, adding that the law minister gave political colour to the courtesy he showed him when he visited his SCBA office on Monday. As a result, he said, his credibility was brought into question. Anwar further announced that Rs40 million pledged by Awan for the SCBA library would also be turned own.
Anwar also accused the media, saying that a section of the press started a character assassination campaign against him for accepting the cheque. The money, he clarified, was merely for the welfare of the SCBA employees for which they had long been waiting.
SCBA’s vice-president Amanullah Kanrani said that by giving the money, Awan tried to divert the lawyers’ attention from the National Reconciliation Ordinance judgment. He said that the SCBA’s stance is that the money in Swiss banks should be returned to the national exchequer but Babar gave the impression that the matter had been resolved.
Kanrani added that through this move, Babar tried to benefit Asma Jahangir in the upcoming Supreme Court Bar elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.