Lawyers flex their muscles
ISLAMABAD, Aug 19: The lawyers of Islamabad are divided on the issue of absorption of judges of other provincial judicial services into the subordinate judiciary of the federal capital.
The elected body of Islamabad district bar on one hand openly criticising the absorption of over two dozens judges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan and Sindh judicial services in the judicial service of Islamabad and intended to challenge it in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The IHC bar on the other hand termed that the absorption of judges has been made in accordance with the law.
According to Javed Akbar Shah, president Islamabad district bar, during the induction in the Islamabad subordinate judiciary, the quota reserved for the Islamabad bar has completely been ignored and the judicial officers from other provinces have been appointed on deputation basis and then absorbed in the Islamabad judicial service in an unlawful manner.
He said the judges of other provinces were not familiar with the culture, traditions and norms of Islamabad; therefore, the majority of Islamabad lawyers were not feeling comfortable with them.
This was the reason that the relations between the lawyers and the judges of the sessions court became tense and the IHC administration on the bar’s demand removed three judges — additional sessions judge Pervaizul Qadir Memon, civil judges Ehtasham Alam Khan and Qudratullah — from the session’s court and assigned them administrative responsibilities in the IHC, he added.
He alleged that some pro-government lawyers are supporting the judges of provincial services but the Islamabad bar would file a petition in the IHC for the repatriation of the existing judges to their parent organisations and to get its share in the subordinate judiciary.
It may be pertinent to mention that on July 11, some lawyers of Islamabad bar has already filed petition against the absorption of judges, including two district and session judges of “east and west” session’s divisions in which they contended that the IHC administration failed to meet the quota in the appointment of judges in its subordinate judiciary.
The petition requested the IHC administration to revisit its decision of absorbing the judges of other judicial services in the capital judiciary and to repatriate them accordingly.
Advocate Shah said that the bar would file a comprehensive petition on the matter of the appointment of judicial officers, which would address the concerns of the Islamabad based lawyers.
Syed Nayyab Hassan Gardezi, president IHC bar on the other hand said that the lawyers should not be worried over the appointment of judicial officers of other provinces because the local judiciary is gradually expanding and it needs trained and experienced judges.He said that the Islamabad judicial rules also allows the induction of judges of other provincial services on deputation and empowers IHC administration to absorb them in its subordinate judiciary, therefore, the consecutive strikes and resolutions against the judges of the subordinate judiciary is unreasonable.
Instead of challenging the said appointments, the lawyers should demand amendments in the Islamabad judicial service rules 2011 and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Act 2010 in order to ensure their representation in the IHC and the subordinate judiciary, he added.
The pro-government lawyers also supported the absorption of judges of other provinces in the Islamabad judiciary. Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, former president Islamabad bar and the deputy attorney general at the IHC told Dawn that senior lawyers had convened a meeting to review the excessive strikes of lawyers against the judges of other provinces.
Advocate Jahangiri who belongs to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and hails from KPK said the situation has created unrest among the large number of lawyers of KPK who are also the members of Islamabad bar adding that the KPK lawyers were opposing the Islamabad bar strike calls and campaign against the KPK judges.
The senior lawyers including former presidents’ of Islamabad bar namely Syed Asghar Hussain Sabzwari, Mujtaba Haider Sherazi, Arbab Abbasi, Ashraf Gujjar, Aleem Abbasi Nayyer Hassan Gardezi and Raja Ishtiaq convened the meeting because they wanted to settle the matter amicably as the unrest would turn into an ethnic conflict, he added.