|Lawyers observe countrywide strike against new contempt law|
13 July 2012
LAHORE: Lawyers across the country observed a strike on the appeal of their respective bar associations Thursday to protest the new contempt of court law passed by parliament.
The legal fraternity expressed its solidarity with the chief justice and Supreme Court, many lawyers completely boycotted court proceedings in district courts while a partial strike was observed at the Lahore High Court.
Punjab Bar Council Vice Chairman Ghulam Abbas Nisooana termed the law a conspiracy against the judiciary, and said the government was trying to undermine its freedom. Condemning the PPP-led government’s most recent move, he rejected the contempt of court law and also pledged to oppose the bill allowing dual nationality holders to become Members of Parliament.
The vice chairman added that the contempt law was against the Holy Quran and Sunnah, and also in violation of the Constitution and Objectives Resolution. He said the amendment was aimed at granting immunity to the prime minister from appearing in the Supreme Court, and said even legal wizards such as Fakhrauddin G Ebrahim, Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani had shown their reservations over the law.
Lawyers of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) on Thursday observed a black day to protest the contempt law passed by parliament, and vociferously condemned the passage of the bill. On Thursday, lawyers boycotted court work, due to which most cases were forcibly adjourned without any progress. The LBA also hoisted a black flag on the Aiwan-e-Adl building.
Expressing their views on the bill, lawyers said that the legal fraternity would fight all such amendments to the Constitution. They asserted that the purpose of the amended law was simply to save the new prime minister from the implementation of the NRO judgment, and vowed to launch a massive movement against the rulers who wanted to save black money through such laws. They also regretted that parliamentarians, instead of resolving public issues, were involved in protecting their own vested interests.
Lawyers in Bahawalpur, on the call of the Punjab Bar Council, also observed a complete strike against the contempt of court bill passed by the National Assembly and Senate. The Bahawalpur High Court Bar Association joined the strike, and protests were observed in neighbouring Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalnagar as well.
In Jaranwala, the District Bar Association observed a complete strike against the contempt of court bill hurriedly passed by parliament. Lawyers boycotted courts and expressed their solidarity with the judiciary. They voiced their resentment against the law, and said they were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the judiciary and Constitution. They added that the rulers had crossed all limits to achieve their goals.
The District Bar Association in Toba Tek Singh also observed a complete strike on the call of the Punjab Bar Council on Thursday. A meeting of the District Bar Association was held with President Amir Nadeem Sindhu in the chair, where the lawyers passed a resolution vowing to support the judiciary against any unconstitutional action.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) of Rawalpindi and Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) also observed a black day on Thursday. LHCBA Rawalpindi President Ahsanuddin Sheikh told a press conference that not only was the new act against the Holy Quran, but it was also in violation of the Constitution.
Lawyers in Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar and other cities across the Punjab also observed a strike on Thursday. The legal fraternity of Taxila and Wah Cantt condemned the contempt law, and Taxila Bar Association President Syed Raza Abbass told a press conference that the independence of the judiciary was being suppressed in order to provide shelter to corrupt politicians.
In Karachi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan addressed lawyers at the Karachi Bar Association, and reiterated his disdain for the new contempt law. Later, the PTI leader led a large cross-section of the legal fraternity onto the MA Jinnah Road where many lawyers chanted slogans against the government.Protest demonstrations also took place in Hyderabad, Quetta and Dera Ghazi Khan.
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