Judicial proceedings suspended due to lawyers’ strike

Updated March 21, 2019

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A man walks past a locked city courts room during a lawyers' strike.—AFP/File
A man walks past a locked city courts room during a lawyers' strike.—AFP/File

KARACHI: Legal proceedings remained suspended at the subordinate judiciary on Wednesday due to a lawyers’ boycott on the call of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) against a decision of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC).

Hundreds of cases fixed at the City Courts and district courts in Malir could not be taken up for hearing due to non-production of undertrial prisoners from prisons because of the lawyers’ boycott.

Courtrooms wore a deserted look and litigants suffered a lot as most lawyers stayed away from the courts.

The PBC had called for a two-day strike (Wednesday and Thursday) across the country against the March 11 decision of NJPMC to open a complaint cell at respective SP office in every district to empower police to decide applications seeking registration of FIRs instead of approaching the courts first.

Earlier, justices of peace/sessions judges had directly been entertaining citizens’ applications filed under Sections 22-A and 22-B of the Criminal Procedure Code after an SHO refused to lodge FIRs.

Partial strike at SHC

At the Sindh High Court, legal work also remained disturbed as representatives of the Sindh High Court Bar Association stopped lawyers, litigants and provincial and federal law officers at the main entrances of the SHC building and asked them to stay away from courts.

SHCBA president Mohammad Aqil said that the bar representatives were present at all the three entrances of the SHC since morning in order to enforce the strike call given by the apex body of the country’s lawyers.

He claimed that the strike was successful and they would repeat it on Thursday (today).

Meanwhile, jail authorities brought UTPs before special courts in the city, including antiterrorism courts, but the legal work was partly disturbed there since the attendance of lawyers remained thin.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2019