Lawyers slam CJ’s remarks against SCBA chief
By Abid Butt
LAHORE: A press conference called by various bar associations here on Thursday condemned the remarks by the chief justice of Pakistan against Hamid Khan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Wednesday.
Lawyers and representatives of various bars associations said the country’s 50,000 lawyers fully backed their leader without any fear of legal notices or incarceration.
In its judgement on an SCBA petition challenging the appointment of superior court judges in violation of the principle of seniority, the Supreme Court had passed remarks against Mr Khan, who had withdrawn his review petition with the submission that he did not have faith in the fairness of the judiciary on constitutional matters.
In the judgement, Chief Justice of Pakistan Sheikh Riaz Ahmed, had remarked that the SC reserved the right to issue contempt notices to the SCBA president, observing that Mr Khan had taken undue advantage of his office.
Pakistan Bar Council members Muhammad Kazim Khan and Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari, Chairman PCB Executive Committee Malik Nosher Khan Langarial, Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Vice President Khawar Akram Bhatti, PCB Vice Chairman Chaudhry Muhammad Ramzan, LHCBA Secretary Shahid Mahmud Bhatti and President of the LHCBA, Multan bench, Arif Alvi, attended the press conference called by the Punjab Bar Council (PBC) on Thursday.
They said the entire legal fraternity unanimously rejected the intimidating remarks made by Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed against their leader. They said the judiciary should not use “indecent language” against any representatives of the bar. They said in withdrawing his review petition from the Supreme Court, Mr Hamid Khan had acted in accordance with the unanimously adopted resolution at the All Pakistan Lawyers Representative Conference earlier this year.
They said if Mr Khan’s act was tantamount to contempt of court, the entire legal fraternity should be served with contempt notices, but said the judiciary did not have “the moral courage to do that”.
They said the bar had always tried to strengthen the judiciary, which had “failed to restore its dignity as an independent institution”.
They said the members of the judiciary had themselves indulged in contempt against the most scared institution of the state “by not deciding cases in accordance with the constitution and law”.
They said it was no secret that that government “had put its strong faith in the judiciary, which it had already bought by giving its members various bribes such as extension in the judges’ age limits for retirement”.
They said speaking the truth did not amount to contempt of court anywhere in the world.