Lawyers extend strike until Nov 3Archive
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council on Tuesday extended its strike against amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure across the province until Nov 3 as the Peshawar High Court directed the representative committees of lawyers and provincial government to meet to resolve the controversy.
A high court bench consisting of Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Syed Arshid Ali asked the committees, which had earlier deliberated on the issue, to try to resolve the issue by Nov 3, the next date of hearing into a petition filed by KP Bar Council vice-chairman Shahid Raza Malik.
After the court adjourned hearing into the petition, the KPBC announced the extension of the lawyers’ strike until then.
Apart from Shahid Raza and KPBC executive committee chairman Shahid Qayyum Khattak, senior lawyers Mohammad Faheem Wali, Khalilullah Khalil and others also appeared before the bench.
PHC asks govt, lawyers panels to meet and resolve CCP issue
The petitioner has requested the court to declare unconstitutional and against the principle of natural justice the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2019, through which drastic changes were made to the CPC last year.
The respondents in the petition are the provincial government through chief secretary, secretaries of establishment and law departments, principal secretary to the chief minister, and secretary of the KP Assembly.
The government representative produced a draft of proposed amendments to the CCP and said demands of the petitioner would be met through those amendments.
However, the lawyers’ representatives said the designated committees of their community and the government had earlier discussed the matter after which the lawyers’ committee had submitted a draft of proposed amendments to the government.
They added that instead of considering that draft, the government had come up with its own version of the proposed amendments.
The bench ordered both committees to hold a meeting for discussing the issue to resolve it at the earliest.
Lawyers said a new section, 26-C, had been inserted in the CPC and if that provision took effect, litigants would be further burdened and different complications would emerge.
They said Section 26-C, which dealt with the framing of issues, filing of list of witnesses and recording of evidence, was absolutely unreasonable, illogical and against the basic principle of justice.
Meanwhile, the lawyers’ strike, which had begun on Oct 17, continued on Tuesday. Most lawyers boycotted the proceedings of courts, including the high court.
The KPBC asked all bar associations to hold meetings in their respective barrooms, stage peaceful rallies, pass resolutions against CCP and forward recommendations on the matter to it.
It also warned that if any lawyer was found violating the strike decision, necessary action would be taken against him or her.
The initial decision of the strike was taken by the KPBC on Oct 16.
The KPBC said a designated committee of the bar council had held several meetings with the government, which promised amendments to the CPC in line with the recommendations of the committee reversing the last year’s controversial changes.
Early this year, the bar council had observed a 23-day continuous strike, which was called off on Jan 30.
Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2020