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LAHORE: The leadership of top lawyers’ bodies on Monday deliberated on the demand for creating more benches of the Lahore High Court and constituted a seven-member committee to reach a peaceful solution to the matter.

The meeting hosted by the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) resolved that violent agitation by lawyers to press their demand was not an appropriate way to persuade the authorities concerned.

Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) members Ahsan Bhoon and Azam Nazir Tarar, LHCBA president Noor Samand Khan, vice president Hafiz Ansarul Haq, secretary Hassan Iqbal Warraich, and former presidents of the LHCBA from both major groups –Professional and Independent-- including Mian Abdul Quddus, Asghar Ali Gill, Abid Saqi, Shafqat Chohan, Pir Masood Chishti, Rana Zia Abdul Rehman, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, and senior lawyer Ramzan Chaudhry attended the meeting.

The participants expressed their concern over the growing protests and violence by lawyers in Gujranwala, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Faisalabad and D.G Khan divisions for the creation of new benches of the high court.

They observed that holding protest was a fundamental right of the lawyers provided the activity remained peaceful and within the limits of morality.

LHCBA’s secretary Warraich told the media that the committee would meet presidents of bar associations from the divisions on Tuesday (today) to find out a peaceful solution to the matter.

He said litigant public had been suffering a lot due to strikes being observed by lawyers in respective divisions.

A full court comprising all judges of the LHC had in 2016 resolved that there was no need to create more permanent regional benches of the court.

PBC member Raheel Kamran Sheikh has recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the LHC full court and seeking a direction for enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens, maintenance of public order based on the rule of law ensuring equal access to justice to all citizens who are residents of Faisalabad, Gujranwala, D.G. Khan, Sargodha and Sahiwal divisions.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2018