August 21, 2017
Police on Monday fired tear gas and water cannon on protesting lawyers who had gathered at the Lahore High Court (LHC) where contempt of court proceedings were underway against the president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association’s (LHCBA) Multan chapter. Their attempt to storm the CJ block was thwarted as anti-riot police used tear gas and water cannon to force them out of the court premises.
Earlier, the bench issued warrants for the arrest of Qureshi and directed the police to arrest and produce him before it. Later, the five-member larger bench was constituted to proceed against the delinquent advocates under the law of contempt and High Court Rules and Orders for suspension and/or removal of their practice of the LHC. They said the move not only tarnished the image of the legal fraternity but also endangered the system of dispensation of justice, creating and enhancing the void between the bench and the bar. He articulated that no compromise will be made on the sactity of the court.
The lawyers then continued their protest at the Mall Road, which was subsequently blocked for traffic.
However, lawyers based in Multan said Qureshi would himself appear before the LHC chief justice if warrants of his arrest are withdrawn. Mall Road around the Lahore High Court looks like a battleground with lawyers pelting stones at the policemen, and the policemen using water cannons to disperse the crowd.
August 21, 2017
Lawyers across the country have pledged a strike tomorrow (Tuesday) to protest ‘police high-handedness’ and ‘unjust’ court ruling after the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered the arrest of a legal fraternity leader.
LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, hearing a contempt case against Sher Zaman Qureshi and, head of the bar association of LHC Multan bench, and another lawyer Qaiser Abbas Kazmi, ordered police to arrest and produce Qureshi on Tuesday (tomorrow).
The bench also ordered the suspension of the lawyers’ licences. The chief justice observed during the hearing that the sanctity of the court is supreme and there will be no compromise on it.
The court termed Qureshi’s conduct ‘most unbecoming and demeaning, that blatantly offends the prestige and honour of this court’.
Following the order, enraged lawyers loyal to Qureshi attempted to forcibly enter the courtroom, breaking the gate of a corridor and chanted slogans against the chief justice inside the LHC building.
August 10, 2017
It’s been more than a year since young law student Khadija Siddiqui was stabbed mercilessly by her class fellow Shah Husain. The incident took place on May 3rd, 2016 in broad daylight on Davis Road, Lahore where Khadija had gone to pick up her younger sister from school. Despite 23 gashes to her body, including the neck, she miraculously survived. Khadija courageously fought for justice and late last month, a court in Lahore sentenced her attacker, who happens to be son of an advocate, to seven years in prison. She sees her survival and legal victory as a chance to live a more meaningful life.
They call court proceedings a trial, and a trial it was. Not only was it a trial for the law to give due recompense for my ghastly wounds, but it was also a trial for my soul, a trial of my patience and, above all, a trial of my honour, dignity and character.
On the 13th and 14th of July, I was cross-examined by the defence council. Waves of nausea swept over me as I stood in a courtroom roiling with men, each day for six exhausting hours at a stretch.
As hard as it is to believe, the defence actually resorted to hiring men to stand behind me to giggle and heckle whenever the opportunity arose. Their base mentality and rotten souls were on display for all to see. Adrenaline rushed through my body, pushing me to flee.
But their hideous tactics only hardened my resolve in standing up to this lawyer boys club, and the voice inside my head steadied me: The truth shall prevail.
August 8, 2017
Lawyers across the country boycotted court proceedings on Tuesday to mourn the Quetta carnage that claimed more than 70 lives last year, of which 56 were lawyers.
Addressing a gathering commemorating the anniversary of the carnage of Quetta Civil Hospital last year, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar emphasised the need for all institutions to perform their duty and contribute to the country’s struggle for peace.
“We cannot lose hope,” he said. “We have to fight this war with courage.”
The chief justice had arrived in Quetta along with judges of various high courts and apex court of the country and lawyers to mourn the tragic incident. The lawyer bodies had organised a condolence reference at the Balochistan High Court to pay rich tribute to the victims of the terror attack.
Political parties, civil society, journalists have also joined the legal fraternity in remembering the victims of the suicide bombing that also included civilians and journalists.
Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Supreme Court Bar Association had given the strike call to mourn the killing of members of the legal fraternity in Quetta.