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Balochistan Bar Council rejects grant

June 29, 2010

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ISLAMABAD, June 28 Supreme Court Bar Association's vice-president Amanullah Kanrani has accused Law Minister Babar Awan of trying to create a wedge in the legal fraternity by doling out millions of rupees as part of a campaign aimed at weakening the judiciary.

Talking to reporters at the Supreme Court on Monday, Mr Kanrani announced that the Balochistan Bar Council (BBC) had decided not to accept a Rs1 million grant and to return the cheque to the government.

He alleged that the distribution of money among lawyers had been planned not only to create differences among them and divide them but also to assemble 'likeminded' lawyers on a platform against the judiciary.

He said he had great regard for the Pakistan People's Party as the largest political party of the country that had made immense sacrifices for democracy.

However, he expressed reservations about the way funds were being distributed through grants among different lawyers' associations.

He said the grants should be given a legal cover.

Mr Kanrani said the minister had also awarded grants to associations which were not recognised by the Balochistan Bar Association.

He said a cheque distribution ceremony held on May 22 was hosted by provincial Minister Sadiq Umrani, instead of the BBC. The event was held in a hotel and not in the council's office.

He alleged that over a dozen unrecognised associations had been given grants of Rs1 million each, including the district bars of Ziarat, Chaman, Harnai, Dera Bugti, Kila Saifullah, Kalat, Jhal Magsi, Barkhan and Kohlu.

He said the district bar associations of Sherani, Musa Khail, Dera Bugti, Awaran and Kila Abdullah had also been given Rs1 million each, although they did not even have bar rooms.

Mr Kanrani said the judiciary had proved its independence through its decisions against the Nov 3 emergency and the National Reconciliation Ordinance, but the law minister appeared to be obstructing the implementation of the judgments.