Lahore - The Appeal Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council has admitted an appeal filed against the illegal allotment of chambers by the Lahore Bar Association to its blue-eyed lawyers in the newly built Judicial Complex.

Showing distrust in the Punjab Bar Council’s Executive Committee, Ch Zafarullah filed the appeal in the Pakistan Bar Council against the LBA and others. The order says, “This appeal and as well as similar other appeals on the same subject ie allotment of lawyers chambers in the newly built judicial complex Lahore have been filed by the affected lawyers.”

The Appeal Committee has issued notices to the respondents and fixed the matter for 07-01-2019 to be heard at the Lahore High Court Bar Association office.

The grievance of the appeal is that the allotment of the chambers by the incumbent LBA Cabinet has been made illegally and unlawfully without adopting any criteria and blue-eyed members of the cabinet have been accommodated without and rhyme and reason and no principle of transparency has been applied. 

It has been further contended that majority of the members of Punjab Bar Council from Lahore including chairperson of the Executive Committee have been accommodated first to provide cover to the improper and illegal allotment, and therefore the appellant does not expect fair decision on the matter by the PbBC Executive Committee.

“In view of the seriousness of the allegations, severity and sensitivity attached to the matter, this appeal is admitted to regular hearing,” says the order passed by the Appeal Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council.

Meanwhile, a number of other lawyers also alleged that the ballot held for the allotment of 280 lawyers chambers was not transparent while LBA President Malik Arshad has denied the allegations.

The lawyers including Azhar Advocate, Khalid Mehmood, Shahnawaz Hanjra, Hassan Abbas Raza, Shehbaz Ali Bhatti, Shehzad Awan said that the ballot was conducted secretly with malafide intention, alleging that the bar’s outgoing cabinet allotted the chambers to their blue-eyed lawyers.

It was also observed that chambers have also been allotted to the incumbent LBA office-bearers including Joint Secretary who has been allotted a room at the first floor of the judicial complex. He has also written his name and office above the room’s door. On the other side, many of those who had been issued allotment letters could not get possession of the chambers allotted in their names asn the same had been grabbed by some other lawyers.

When contacted, the LBA denied the allegations and tried to justify the act by saying that a few lawyers time and again locked the chambers therefore the bar cabinet had to intervene to remove their possession and conducted ballot.

Moreover, the surrounding areas of the judicial complex have been grabbed. For the purpose a number violent incident also took place on the premises. Lawyers slapped and even verbally abused one another so as to take possession of the premises. Meanwhile, those have taken possession of the area have started construction of chambers while others marked their names wherever they found a space.

However, the Pakistan Bar Council has taken up the matter and fixed 07-01-2019 for the hearing.

In addition, the Punjab Bar Council issued notice to the LBA cabinet for 05-01-2019 and also sought record. The PbBC Executive Committee took up the application filed by Malik Bashir Advocate who appeared before the committee in person. It admitted that the matter is for the betterment of lawyers. It also termed the procedure adopted by cabinet of Lahore Bar Association regarding illegal allotment of chambers “unfair… therefore the act of Lahore Bar Association of chamber allotment is held to be illegal”.