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PbBC lawyers distance themselves from Pakistan Bar Council strike against references

PbBC lawyers distance themselves from Pakistan Bar Council strike against references

A group of lawyers associated with the Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) on Thursday ? a day before the Supreme Judicial Council takes up references against Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Karim Khan Agha ? distanced themselves from the strike called by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) tomorrow to protest the references.

Groups of lawyers belonging to Sindh and various bar associations of Punjab have already opposed the call given by the PBC ? the apex regulatory body of lawyers ? for a countrywide strike.




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The PBC had in its general body meeting earlier this week declared that the filing of references against two superior court judges smacked of the government's mala fide intention, and expressed hope that the SJC would not become party to such designs of the government.

The bar councils — including the PBC, PbBC, Sindh Bar Council, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, Balochistan Bar Council and Islamabad Bar Council — unanimously demanded the withdrawal of the references since they were based on mala fide intentions and were filed without adhering to the mandatory provisions of relevant laws.

PBC vice chairman Syed Amjad Shah had said that the legal fraternity demanded immediate withdrawal of the reference against Justice Isa as it did not fall within the ambit of Article 209 of the Constitution. He said that no lawyer would appear in any court of law in the country on June 14, and would stage protests in their respective areas against filing of these references.

He claimed that the protest would remain peaceful and the lawyers would not take the law into their own hands.

However, the PbBC appears to be in two minds on the issue. As many as 10 members of the PbBC took part in today's press conference in Lahore to disassociate themselves from the strike tomorrow.

Comment: Scrap reference against Justice Isa

They said the call was tantamount to exerting pressure on the SJC, and claimed that all 75 members of the PbBC, including office-bearers, supported the decision to oppose the strike. They added that lawyers from across the province would appear in courts on Friday.

The lawyers demanded the SJC immediately decide all references against Justice Isa and other judges, and expressed their resolve to stand by the SJC.

They said that the lawyers' fraternity believes in supremacy of law, adding that each and every person should be held accountable, and that no one should be considered a 'holy cow'.

The Lahore Bar Association also disassociated itself from the strike call. The body held a meeting, after which a press release was issued, stating that the LBA had voted on and passed a resolution in favour of SJC pursuing references against the judges. The statement called for a speedy trial of the judges.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court Bar Association held a meeting to discuss five resolutions on the matter of the reference against Justice Isa but, according to a statement issued by the body, association, a ruckus ensured that the meeting was inconclusive.

LHCBA Secretary Fayyaz Ahmed Ranjha in a statement said the meeting had fallen prey to mismanagement. He added that, if needed, the resolutions would be tabled again on a suitable occasion. He said that no notification had been issued with respect to a strike on June 14.

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