Lahore  -   Chief Justice Saqib Nisar threatened to tender resignation on Saturday after a group of lawyers started protesting and sloganeering in the courtroom as he refused to withdraw the FIR registered against some lawyers for assaulting a policeman.

During the hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to the cop’s manhandling at the Supreme Court's Lahore Registry, Lahore Bar Association Secretary Sohail Murshad requested the chief justice to suspend the FIR lodged against the lawyers. He claimed the FIR registered against the black coats was fake, fictitious and concocted. He also said his fellows did not bash the policeman. Meanwhile, LBA President Malik Arshad pleaded that the FIR against the lawyers be suspended. However, the top judge made it clear that he would prefer relinquishing his office to doing injustice. He said that the FIR would not be suspended and a stern legal action would taken against the responsible person(s) be it lawyers or policeman.  As a protest, the lawyers present in the courtroom started raising ‘shame, shame’ slogans. Admonishing the protestant lawyers who raised the slogans against him, the CJ said, ‘You should be ashamed of chanting slogans against your father.” He also asked those who chanted slogans not to appear before him again.

However, the DBA president said that they raised slogans against the police highhandedness. When the LBA general secretary complained that terrorism cases have been registered against the lawyers, the CJ remarked that the inclusion of terrorism clauses in the FIR did not mean the lawyers thrash the policeman. He alleged that some policemen disguised themselves as lawyers and beat up him.

On refusal of the dismissal of the FIR against the lawyers, the LBA secretary said that the lawyers would stage a sit-in outside the court if the top judge did not removed the section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act from the FIR. Nevertheless, he refused to accept their request and said that if the lawyers stage a sit-in, he would come there. The secretary then pleaded that a stay order may kindly be passed to the extent of arrest of the lawyers but that subsequent request was also not accepted.

Continuing the legal proceedings regarding the suo motu case, the chief justice ordered bringing the footages of the alleged clash between lawyers and the policeman at the next hearing of the case.

Subsequently, he came out of the court and went by foot to GPO Chowk where the lawyers were holding the protest sit-in. Talking to the lawyers, he said that justice would prevail at all costs. He also received complaints from the citizens who had gathered at the place. The fraternity held the sit-in against Chief Justice for taking the suo motu notice of the incident. The court had also summoned the IG Police Punjab for the hearing and Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon.

The chief justice had earlier taken notice of the incident on a news item published in a section of the media. As per the sub inspector of Punjab Police, he was thrashed and tortured by some lawyers in the sessions court.

Complainant Samar Riaz stated that at 12:00pm, a police officer deployed in the court of Addistional and Sessions Judge Azhar Iqbal Ranjha telephoned him that the court had summoned him within 30 minutes. Due to traffic mess, he added, he got late, and at 1:00pm again he was called by Naib Court Imran and asked him to reach the court immediately. He said that he reached the court at 1:00pm.

As he reached the court, the complainant alleged, the accused attacked him in the sessions court, thrashed and tortured him, and also criminally intimidated him. He said that they also tore off his uniform and brought him to the first floor thrashing.

He alleged that the accused also kept him in illegal custody in a room. He also alleged that the lawyers had given him murder threats in case he filed an FIR for legal action against them.

 

Shahzad Ahmad