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LAHORE: Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry from the Independent Group, commonly known as late Asma Jahangir’s group, notched the top slot of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) in its annual election on Saturday for the year 2019-20.

Mr Chaudhry bagged 3,871 votes against 2,391 secured by Khadim Hussain Qaiser from the Hamid Khan-led Professional Group. Sajid Bashir, independent candidate, stood third with 1,225 votes.

In his victory speech, Mr Chaudhry dedicated the triumph to late Ms Jahangir and vowed to continue her struggle for the rule of law and democracy in the country.

Several members of the Pakistan Bar Council, including Ahsan Bhoon, Azam Nazir Tarar, Abid Saqi and Pir Masood Chishti, were the main supporters of Mr Chaudhry. He also enjoyed the backing of lawyers wings of the PML-N and the PML-Q. On the other side, lawyers wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supported the Professional group. The Peoples’ Lawyers Forum (PLF), led by Sardar Latif Khosa and his son Khurram Khosa, canvassed for Mr Bashir.

Kabir Ahmad Chaudhry was elected vice president with 2,304 votes, Fiaz Ahmad Ranjha secretary with 4,659 votes and Ansar Jamil Gujjar finance secretary with 5,370 votes.

As many as 7,522, out of 16,226, members cast their votes using a biometric system. The turnout remained low as lawyers from Faisalabad, Sargodha and Gujranwala boycotted the election on the issue of setting up new LHC benches in their divisions.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2019