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KARACHI: Litigants suffered as legal proceedings remained suspended at the subordinate judiciary on Thursday owing to a boycott by lawyers on a 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 as well as the special courts and tribunals 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 as most lawyers stayed away from the courts.

The PBC had called a strike across the country against the March 11 decision of the NJPMC to open a complaint cell at the respective SP office in every district to empower the 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 register FIRs.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019