LAHORE - Ending their six-day long strike against serious security threats to the courts, the lawyers under the banner of Lahore Bar Association once again gave time to the government till October 13th to meet their demands.

The lawyers also criticised Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for not taking suo moto notice over the failure of the police for not providing foolproof security to the lawyers and courts in the country.  At General House meeting held at Aiwan-e-Adl on Tuesday, the lawyers unanimously decided to end the six-day strike, giving four-day time to the government for making foolproof security arrangements for the courts.

They announced they would hold meeting on Oct 13th wherein they would analyse the situation.

If the government would take security measures they would not go on strike, otherwise, they would hold protests, they added.

Addressing the meeting, LBA President Numan Qureshi said that LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s efforts for the community were really admirable who promised to provide Rs one million for security measures.

Numan Qureshi said that the whole legal fraternity faces serious security threats. Large number of lawyers took part in the General House meeting.

Some lawyers chanted slogans against the government and they strongly criticised Sharif brothers.  Meanwhile, Nazeeran Bibi, an old woman told this scribe that she had come there for the bail matter of her son accused of robbery but nobody was hearing her grievances.

She said few days had left in Eid but her son was in jail and was innocent.  She said her lawyer told her about strike in courts after he got his fee for the case.

Pervaiz challenges LB polls on non-party basis

PML-Q leader and MNA Pervaiz Elahi has challenged the holding of Local Bodies election on non-party basis and decreasing the seats of women and minorities.

The petitioner stated in the petition that Punjab government had lessened the seats of women and minorities through recently promulgated Punjab Local Government Act which is negation of rights of women and minorities in society. He said that the PML-N government is following an agenda and wants to establish dictatorship in Punjab by holding Local Bodies election on non-party basis. Pervaiz Elahi re uested the court to set aside the provision of law relating to non-party based elections.

‘No court can extend ROs’ duties’

The Lahore High Court was told Tuesday that the scope of duties given in the election laws for returning officers could not be extended by any court.

Barrister Syeda Maqsooma Zahra Bukhari, counsel of the National Assembly speaker, told this to the court during the hearing of a petition moved by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq challenging an order of the ECP issued on June 18, allowing the public inspection of the election record of NA-122.

Advancing arguments, the lawyer submitted that the scope of duties given in the election laws for ROs could not be extended by any court. If the ECP needed any such assistance, Article 220 of the Constitution clearly states that it would be the duty of all executive authorities in the federation and provinces to assist the commissioner and ECP for discharging his or their functions, the lawyer added. She contended that any other interpretation by the court would create parallel judiciary in the country.

Agreeing with the contentions, LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial directed the counsel of Imran Khan to put forth his arguments on the points raised by the Ayaz Sadiq’s advocate. The court also issued notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan and Election Commission of Pakistan to assist the court over these points.

The court will take up the matter on October 25.

In his petition, Ayaz Sadiq had submitted that he had no objection to the inspection of the election record except ballot papers in terms of the Section 45 of the Representation of the People Act, 1976.

Meanwhile, LHC’s Justice Ejazul Ahsan Tuesday adjourned for indefinite period the proceeding on the petition seeking a criterion of written examination and interview to fill vacancies of the superior courts judges.

The judge had already appointed lawyer Shahzad Shaukat as amicus curie (friend of court) to assist on this issue. The court put off the hearing due to shortage of time.