Lawyers to burn copy of reference at SC building, says Kanrani

Updated June 08, 2019

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Says reference has been filed against Justice Isa because of his verdicts in case relating to the Faizabad sit-in. — SCBA website
Says reference has been filed against Justice Isa because of his verdicts in case relating to the Faizabad sit-in. — SCBA website

QUETTA: Rejecting the reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the apex court, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Amanullah Kanrani announced on Friday that the lawyers belonging to Balochistan would burn the reference’s copy as a protest at the main entrance of the Supreme Court building on June 14 when the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) would take up the reference for hearing.

Speaking at a press conference after a joint meeting of representative bodies of lawyers, including the Balochistan Bar Council, Balochistan High Court Bar Association and Quetta Bar Association, Mr Kanrani said Balochistan’s lawyers would stage a sit-in at the entrance of the SC building and it would continue till the withdrawal of the reference by the government or its rejection by the SJC.

Balochistan Bar Council vice president Attaullah Langove, Balochistan High Court Bar Association vice president Iqbal Kasi, Quetta Bar Association president Asif Reki and a large number of lawyers were present on the occasion.

Mr Kanrani said the three bodies of lawyers at the meeting rejected the government’s decision to file the reference against the apex court judge and termed it a mala fide move. He said the meeting decided to express solidarity with Justice Faez Isa as he was the only judge in the Supreme Court from Balochistan.

He said the lawyers’ bodies observed that the reference had been filed against Justice Isa because of his verdicts in cases relating to the Faizabad sit-in and suicide attack on Civil Hospital in Quetta.

“We are not against the accountability process; we are against the singling out of a senior judge,” Mr Kanrani said, adding that it was a move to block the way of Justice Isa from becoming the Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2023.

He said it was decided at the meeting that lawyers would boycott the court proceeding across the country on June 14 and wear black armbands.

He said the president, prime minister and several ministers had violated their oath by disclosing the content of the reference and using it for character assassination of “honorable and most honest judge of country who belongs to Balochistan”.

The SCBA president said the nation should be informed on which grounds about 350 other references had been filed in the SJC against judges of various courts. “If the government does not make public these 350 references, the lawyers will make them public,” he warned.

He said the lawyers’ sit-in at the entrance of the SC building would be peaceful. He said the lawyers were not against accountability, but it should be across the board. “Just singling out a senior judge for accountability is not acceptable to the lawyers’ community. We will not leave Justice Qazi Faez Isa alone at any cost and will fully support him,” he added.

Mr Kanrani appealed to other lawyers’ bodies of the country to join hands with the lawyers of Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2019