ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Bar Council Rules Committee has proposed direct elections for its members and allocation of women seats in the Council.

Mohammad Raheel Kamran Sheikh, Chairman, Rules Committee, proposed that for the purpose of making the Pakistan Bar Council a more representative body of lawyers, there should be direct elections of its members instead of indirect election as presently in vogue.

A joint meeting of Rules and Law Reforms Committees was held in the Supreme Court building here yesterday.

Raheel further proposed that Electoral College for such direct election should comprise all advocates enrolled by the Pakistan Bar Council. The committee has recommended amendment in relevant provisions of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973.

It was also proposed that for ensuring representation of female lawyers in the Bar Council.

The committee also proposed amendments in Pakistan Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Rules, 1976 regarding election of bar associations.

It was observed that requisite standing for being a candidate in election for the office of President of a High Court Bar Association is 15 years standing, while standing required for an advocate of the High Court to be elevated as a Judge is 10 years practice. Thus an advocate of the High Court, who is otherwise qualified to be elevated as a judge of High Court, may not be qualified to contest election for the President of a High Court Bar Association for lack of requisite standing.

Similarly, seven-year practice in High Court has been considered as sufficient experience to be eligible for enrolment as an advocate of the Supreme Court, while minimum 10 years standing has been prescribed to contest election for the office of the Secretary High Court Bar Association.

The members recommended that requisite length of practice as advocate of High Court for contesting election for offices of President, Vice-President and Secretary of the High Court Bar Association may be reduced from 15 to 10 years, 12 to 8 years and 10 to 7 years, respectively.