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KARACHI: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem said on Saturday the issue of incompetence on the part of judges, if any, could be dealt with by enlarging the definition of misconduct as given in Article 209 of the Constitution.

Speaking at a ceremony at which newly elected office-bearers of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) were sworn in, the minister said if there were some incompetent judges in the high courts or subordinate judiciary, the problem could be dealt with by including the element of “glaring incompetence” in the definition of misconduct through judicial interpretation.

Mr Naseem said the role of bar associations was vital for the proper dispensation of justice. He recalled that the KBA was his parent association.

Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association retired Justice Rasheed A. Razvi also spoke on the issue of conduct of judges and expressed his dismay over their behaviour towards lawyers, especially the junior ones among them.

He proposed that the element of giving respect to lawyers and litigants should be made part of the judges’ oath. Due to the judges’ behaviour the independence of judiciary was being compromised.

KBA president Haider Imam Rizvi said the struggle waged by the legal fraternity for the independence of the judiciary could only bear fruit when the institution would be working without any influence.

He thanked Mr Naseem for donating a van to the KBA for transportation of lawyers to the Sindh High Court building.
Earlier, Mr Razvi administered the oath to the newly elected president Haider Imam Rizvi, general secretary Ashfaq Ali Gilal, joint secretary Amir Warraich, vice-president Hanif Qureshi, treasurer Abdullah Qambar and 11 members of the managing committee.

The office-bearers were elected in the annual election of the KBA in January, but their oath-taking ceremony could not be held earlier.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018