FAISALABAD/SARGODHA: The demand for the Lahore High Court benches on Thursday created differences among the groups of lawyers in Faisalabad and Sargodha, leading to a confrontation over the calling off of the strike and postponing the sit-in at Lahore.
The groups of Faisalabad District Bar Association President Malik Amjad and Secretary Rahail Zafar roughed each other on the bar premises when the president called off the strike on for the last one month for setting up an LHC bench in Faisalabad.
A group of lawyers also damaged the furniture on the district courts premises and shut its gates, leaving no room for the litigants to stay in the courts.
Malik Amjad group tried to unlock the gate, saying that it had been decided in a meeting in Lahore that a registry branch of the LHC would be set up at the divisional headquarters. However, the secretary group said their movement was for establishment of the bench rather than the registry counter.
The lawyers belonging to both the groups used abusive language against each other. The general house of the DBA was also convened to decide the future course of action and the lawyers left it chanting slogans in favour of locking up the courts. However, in the evening a message was forwarded by the DBA to the media, saying, “In the vast interest of lawyers as well as public at large, it is decided in the general house meeting that lockdown of the courts and diary of new cases had been opened while the strike for establishment of the LHC bench would continue till the next decision.”
DBA secretary Rahail Zafar said the lawyers would not accept the decision of registry counters.
The lawyers of Faisalabad, Sargodha and Sahiwal had announced a sit-in at the GPO Chowk, Lahore, for Thursday for establishment of the LHC benches in the divisional headquarters.
Meanwhile, lawyers of Sargodha DBA also disagreed with the settlement between judicial administration and the Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) after a prolonged debate in the meeting of general body decide to continue forcibly shutting session courts and sealed Punjab Horticulture Authority (PHA) to press for their demand of the LHC bench at Sargodha.
It was decided to lock all the courts from tomorrow (Friday) and lock all the government offices from Saturday.
The general house meeting criticised the role of DBA President Ansar Baloch, PbBC members Afzal Farooka and Saleem Akhtar Kachela and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyers wing, asking them to remain sincere with the cause of the bar regarding establishment of LHC bench.
It may be recalled that Thursday was fixed for sit-in before the LHC and over 200 lawyers were ready to proceed for Lahore but the president and two members of the PbBC announced postponing the sit-in and unlocked the judicial complex.
This message created unrest among the young lawyers who refused to agree with settlement and summoned meeting of general body which announced strike for indefinite period besides locking all the courts of judicial complex and also decided to hold sit-in at the LHC in Lahore and observe the hunger strike if their demand was not accepted before the winter vacations.
Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2018