LAHORE - Lahore Bar Association has opposed both the government and higher judicial authorities’ decisions regarding setting up of another sessions court in the provincial metropolis, it was learnt here on Saturday.

Being a stakeholder of the judicial system, the representatives of the bar expressed their serious apprehensions over the matter and termed it a conspiracy against Lahore Bar Association by dividing the biggest bar of the country into two parts.

Talking to the Nation, Chaudhary Muhammad Ishtiaq, the newly elected president of the Lahore Bar Association, said the bar was a stakeholder in the judiciary and always played an active role in the history of the country against all sorts of injustices, particularly during dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf. He said the government and higher authorities of the judiciary did not consult them while issuing notifications to set up another district and sessions court in the city.

In fact, Chaudhry Ishtiaq said, the government wanted to break their strength, because they always opposed their wrong policies and decisions and stopped them from taking all wrong steps which were not in the larger interest of the nation.

The lawyers have already been suffering owing to scattered courts, he said. He said the government should complete the construction of judicial complex immediately, but, instead of taking any positive step in this regard, the government is busy hatching conspiracies against the legal community.

“There are almost 137 judges in the city, but they have no proper retiring rooms and sitting places,” said Chaudhry Ishtiaq, adding the government should provide them with proper facilities first and then it should go for any other option.

He said they would call a meeting on February 18 to discuss this issue besides planning future course of action if the government rejected their demands.

“How many sessions judges are appointed is not our issue; our issue is the government should allocate a specific place or should complete the construction of judicial complex where all courts and judges could work smoothly,” he said.

Ishtiaq said if the government was really willing to set up another sessions court, it should first announce another CCPO, DCO and nazim office in the city. But it would not do so and wanted to apply their frail theory to the judiciary which the lawyers would not allow at any cost, he said arguably.

“The judiciary resolves the issues coming from the weak administration; it should be strong preferably,” he said.

“There is a legal process of setting up courts at specific places. According to Section 9(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, the governor has the powers only to set up courts that deal with criminal matters and Section 6 of Civil Courts Ordinance, 1962, empowers the Lahore High Court chief justice to divide and set up new civil courts, Chaudhry Ishtiaq argued.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab governor issued a notification on February 3 and Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on February 6 this month regarding setting up two courts, one in Lahore City and the other in New Lahore.