On Friday , The Inter-Provincial Committee of All Pakistan Bar Council announced a countrywide strike on Dec 17 to support the demand of the Punjab Bar Council.
The Punjab Bar council has been demanding for the establishment of the Lahore High Court benches in five more cities of the province.
The committee met with its head, Noor Alam Khan, in the chair. It condemned the interference from heads of institution into matters beyond their jurisdiction, ‘contrary to their constitutional mandate’ and demanded that all institutions including the judiciary function while adhering to their constitutional limits.
The meeting unanimously adopted a resolution, criticizing the excessive exercising of suo moto powers by the superior judiciary and demanded that a large bench of the Supreme Court should be constituted which should decide in what sorts of matters suo moto action could be taken.
The meeting was attended by vice-chairmen of bar councils of KP, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, chairmen of their executive committees, and their several members.
According to spokesman for the KP Bar Council Nawaz Khan, the meeting unanimously passed several resolutions after discussion.
The participants discussed the Punjab Bar Council’s demand for the establishment of LHC benches in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal and said it was need of the hour to establish those benches.
They discussed the mechanism for the appointment of judges to the Islamabad High Court and demanded that 50 percent of the IHC judges be appointed from among local lawyers and the rest from among those of other parts of the country through elevation.
Currently, lawyers from the across the country are appointed judges to the IHC.
The participants insisted that there was an excessive invoking of the suo moto powers by the superior courts.
They demanded that those suo moto powers be regulated by a larger Supreme Court bench. The participants expressed reservations about the ‘overstepping’ of the constitutional powers by certain institutions and said all institutions including the judiciary should abide by the Constitution to serve the national interests.
They discussed the holding of tests for admission to law colleges and for joining the law profession and demanded that a single test be conducted to save the time of lawyers by improving the bar councils examination mechanisms.
The participants also asked the government to provide lawyers and their families the medical facilities enjoyed by its BPS-18 officers and family members.
They called for financial assistance for lawyers aged above 65 years and the lawyers’ quota in countrywide government housing schemes. The participants opposed the clubbing of the Islamabad region with Rawalpindi for the purpose of Supreme Court Bar Association elections and demanded that the presidential term for Rawalpindi and Islamabad be separated.
Read our opinion piece on Suo Moto here