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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has decided to go on a complete strike on Thursday (25th February) throughout Pakistan.

The Council in a meeting presided over by Khush Dil Khan, held at the PBC office, here on Tuesday, unanimously demanded the following: “FIRs against enrolled advocates registered, should be withdrawn on/or before 28-02-2021; contempt of court notices issued to the enrolled advocates should also be withdrawn on/or before 28-02-2021; the disciplinary proceedings initiated or to be initiated against enrolled advocates by High Court should also be withdrawn, as it is not within their domain; disciplinary proceedings can only be initiated by the PBC or the concerned provincial/Islamabad Bar Council and not by the Court; and the order issued for further demolition of the lawyers’ chambers of the District Katchery, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad, be suspended/withdrawn immediately.

The PBC said in case of failure to meet the demand as enumerated on/or before 28-02-2021, the PBC will convene a “Lawyers Representatives Convention” from all over Pakistan in the first week of March to define further line of action in consultation with all the stakeholders.

The council, in a statement, said “an untoward incident took place on account of demolishing of the chambers of advocates at the District Courts, Islamabad by the CDA, without issuing a proper notice under the instructions through a letter written by the District and Sessions Judge, Islamabad for demolishing of only two chambers.

“The CDA instead of demolishing the two chambers of the lawyers; demolished approximately 100 chambers of the advocates, resulting in great inconvenience and prejudice which also resulted in loss of books as well as briefs of clients.

“In such circumstances, the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court vide letter dated 11-02-2021, addressed to Khush Dil Khan, vice-chairman, PBC alleged storming of the High Court on 08-02-2021, and acts of violence by alleged advocates, and called upon the PBC and the Islamabad Bar Council to hold every enrolled advocate accountable, who was allegedly involved in the alleged incident.

“The vice-chairman PBC, in reply to the IHC chief justice’s letter dated 15-02-2021, assured that the PBC shall take action against those responsible for the alleged actions in accordance with the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973, which warrants a reference from the concerned Court.”

Khush Dil said that he assured fullest support of the PBC to the judiciary but emphasized that a meeting between the representatives of the bar and the chief justice and judges of the IHC is necessary to resolve the issue in the interest of the Bench and the Bar.

He said instead of responding to his letter an order dated 18-02-2021, was passed in Complaint No 01 of 2021 titled, “Registrar, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad Versus Naseer Ahmed Kayani, Advocate & others” by a full bench of the IHC, Islamabad, whereby it was directed for the issuance of notices to 21 enrolled advocates who according to the Bench were allegedly involved in the incident, and further directed the High Court and District Bar Associations to submit names of other enrolled advocates who are known to them to the Registrar, IHC within three days, allegedly involved in the alleged incident for action to be taken against them.

According to the PBC statement, “at present about more than eight advocates including one female advocate are in Central Prison Adyala, Rawalpindi, and they are not being released purposely on bail as a policy matter, to their prejudice which is painful not only to the legal fraternity but also to the members of their family specially the children of those advocates.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021