PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council on Saturday demanded of the provincial police chief to order action against the Mansehra police officials over ‘illegal’ arrest of a senior lawyer and warned that if the demand wasn’t met within a week, it would give a call for protests across the province.

The council’s general body meeting was held here with its vice-chairman Mohammad Ali Khan Jadoon in the chair.

The participants discussed several issues of the lawyers and passed resolutions.

They examined the arrest of senior lawyer Munir Hussain Laghmani in Mansehra early this month and demanded of the provincial inspector general of police and Hazara deputy inspector general to order an inquiry against the relevant deputy superintendent of police and station house officer and take action against them.

Calls magisterial powers for administrative officers in Malakand unconstitutional

Mr Laghmani was arrested in connection with the Dua Zahra ‘kidnapping’ case with the police suspecting that the lawyer had sheltered the young girl and her husband.

The advocate, however, denied the charge and said he had nothing to do with the matter.

Through another resolution, the participants insisted that the exercising of judicial powers by administrative officers in Malakand division was an unconstitutional act.

They said the exercise of those powers by the deputy and assistant commissioners under the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation was declared unconstitutional by the Peshawar High Court a few years ago but the provincial government had moved the Supreme Court against the decision.

The meeting demanded of the government to withdraw that appeal forthwith.

It also condemned the killing of a litigant on the premises of the Judicial Complex in Lakki Marwat on Saturday and demanded of the law-enforcement agencies to adopt foolproof security measures in all courts of the province.

The participants said violence had frequently been taking place on the court premises but the law-enforcement agencies didn’t check it.

They also condemned a campaign launched against provincial advocate general Shumail Ahmad Butt, who is also chairman of the council, by some elements during a controversy between lawyers and civil servants and said the AG had stood by the legal community on every issue and never betrayed it.

The meeting discussed the issue of the holding of strikes by lawyers and decided to constitute a committee for formulating standard operating procedures for future strikes. The committee will give recommendations to the council within a week.

The participants expressed concern about the growing prices of essential commodities and demanded of the government to take immediate steps to control them to the relief of the people.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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