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SBC suspends licences of four lawyers for appearing before model courts

Updated April 18, 2019

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The four lawyers also include a former judge of the Sindh High Court. — AFP/File
The four lawyers also include a former judge of the Sindh High Court. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Bar Council has suspended the licence of practice of four lawyers for appearing before the model criminal trial courts in violation of the decision of the Pakistan Bar Council, it emerged on Wednesday.

The four lawyers also include a former judge of the Sindh High Court.

The SBC took the decision on the complaints of the Karachi Bar Association.

A notification issued in this regard stated that the disciplinary committee of the lawyers’ top provincial regulatory body had suspended the licences of advocates Abdul Sami Memon, Mohammad Shair Khan, Syed Zakir Hussain and Mohammad Arif Sitai.

Mr Hussain is a retired judge of the SHC while Mr Sitai is currently posted as the deputy district public prosecutor in the court of additional district and sessions judge/model criminal trial court in district South.

Two other lawyers were representing the parties before the model courts in Karachi.

The notification further stated that in case these advocates were still appearing before any court of law they would be liable to be punished as warranted in Section 58(2) of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973.

Model courts’ proceedings disrupted again

Earlier in the day, lawyers once again disrupted the proceedings of the four model criminal trial courts for a third consecutive day in protest over swift trials being conducted on a day-to-day basis.

Judicial staff said a group of the lawyers, including KBA representatives led by its president Naeem Qureshi went to the model criminal trial courts of districts East, West, Central and South and asked the judges to stop hearing the cases in the light of a PBC resolution against conduct of the trials in a “hurried” manner.

They also asked their colleagues appearing before these courts as prosecutors or on behalf of the contesting parties not to plead their cases in violation of the PBC’s resolution.

The judicial staff said the protesting lawyers had arguments with Mr Sitai as well as Advocate Zakir Hussain, who were found sitting in the chamber of the judge concerned.

The lawyers had been disrupting the proceedings in the model courts since Monday arguing that the PBC had denounced the decisions of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee, including establishment of the model criminal trial courts and appointment of the police superintendents to decide applications filed under Section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) instead of the judicial magistrates.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019