ISLAMABAD -  A member of Pakistan Bar Council (PCB) has demanded that the top lawyers’ body included on the agenda of its next meeting the steps that could be taken to prevent the alleged intimidation of lawyers besides discussing the issue of transparency in the nomination of judges in high courts.

The PCB has convened a meeting scheduled for December 10.

Raheel Kamran Sheikh, one of the PBC members, has written letters to the council chairman and members, highlighting that the incidents of lawyers’ intimidation, threats, and violence against judges, police, media and other members of the society have increased in the last couple of years.

“These incidents have been termed by the media “wukalagardi”. At present, mostly the incidents of “wukalagardi are confined to civil courts, magistrates’ courts and sessions courts, however, if the situation is not arrested here and causes are not addressed effectively, no court premises shall escape from this madness,” he said.

He said that currently there are more than 150,000 lawyers in the legal profession and the number doubles every five years. “More than 100,000 law students are enrolled in law colleges affiliated with the Punjab University, Bahauddin Zakariya University, the Islamia University Bahawalpur and the Sargodha University. After 17 years of education, these young lawyers will enter the profession without knowing how to write simple applications for the grant of bail or interim relief. Hardly anyone will be ready and willing to train them,” he said in the letter.

Sheikh said that equality of opportunity to all deserving candidates has to be ensured not only for strengthening the relationship between the bench and the bar but also effective dispensation of justice. “However, presently, no objective criteria and guidelines have been made public for the exercise of the discretion vested in the chief justices of high courts to nominate for the elevations to the bench,” he said. Sheikh said that in the absence of a better transparency in relation to the elevations on the bench, one can never be sure if the principle of equality of opportunity is being satisfied.