Last week, lawyers announced to launch a protest movement against the 21st Constitutional Amendment and subsequent establishment of military courts.
The announcement was made at the All Pakistan Lawyers Convention, organised by the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA).
“We have strong reservations over the armed forces’ involvement in politics as it will lower their dignity,” the participants said. They said lawyers would observe a black day on every Thursday.
They rejected the amendment and termed establishment of military courts in conflict with fundamental rights and basic structure of the constitution.
Lawyers from across the country participated in the convention. Karachi Bar Association president Naeem Qureshi, Peshawar Bar Association president Razaullah Khan, Ijaz Mahmond from FATA, Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Azam Nazir Tarar, Pakistan Bar Council member Hamid Khan, Supreme Court Bar Association former president Asama Jahangir, LHCBA president Shafqat Mehmood and Lahore Bar Association president Ishtiaq Amed Khan were among the participants.
Legal experts believe it will be easier for the judiciary to decide the petitions challenging the amendment with the support of the bar. The Pakistan Bar Council has also resolved to move the SC against the amendment through a separate petition.
The participants of the convention condemned terrorism and said they stood by the armed forces in their fight against terrorism. “The military courts will distract the armed forces’ attention from their original goal,” they said.
Judges directed to expedite disposal of cases
Last week, the Lahore High Court directed judges of anti-terrorism courts in Punjab to expedite disposal of cases.
Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts, and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood presided over a meeting to review cases registered under Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 along with their disposal.
Justice Malik expressed his satisfaction over working of the courts and directed the judges to expedite the cases as per the spirit of law and also urged police to complete investigation of the cases and arrest the proclaimed offenders.
NA-122 petition dismissed
Last week, the Election Tribunal disposed of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) application filed against the local commission that examined NA-122 and PP-147 electoral record.
“The tribunal will closely examine the report submitted by the local commission as well as other evidence. It will exercise all powers to dig out the truth if the report is found incomplete, vague or deficient in material,” Election Tribunal Judge Kazim Ali Malik said.
PTI had sought action against the commission, headed by Ghulam Hussain Awan, for alleged breach of trust, re-verification of the report submitted by the commission, and re-inspection of election record pertaining to certain polling stations.
Agreeing with the petitioner, the tribunal remarked that the commission had no legal or moral ground to give an opinion on a matter that was to be decided by the court.
PTI leaders have expressed serious concerns over the decision of the tribunal.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2rd, 2015.
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