ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the apex body of lawyers, on Friday opposed the decision of National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) regarding petitions under Sections 22A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

On March 11, the NJPMC under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa had resolved that the applications under Section 22A and Section 22B under CrPC may be entertained by the Superintendent of Police of Police (Complaints).

Opposing the decision, Vice-Chairman PBC Syed Amjad Shah, after having consulted with the other representatives of Provincial and Islamabad Bar Councils, has severely criticized the decision of NJPMC to the effect that henceforth the petitions under Sections 22A and 22B of CrPC would not be entertained directly and instead the aggrieved persons would have to appear before the Superintendent of Police (SP) for that purpose.

The press statement issued from the office of PBC stated that the said decision has further expanded powers of the police which would not only leave the aggrieved person at the mercy of police but would also open another avenue of malpractice and corruption at the hands of Police.

The vice chairman said that the Bar Councils and the Bar Associations have not been taken on board and consulted while making such a vital decision which would have great impact on the criminal justice system and valuable legal rights of aggrieved persons.

He has, therefore, demanded immediate reversal of decision of the NJPMC and restoration of the previous practice as to entertainment of petitions under Sections 22A and 223 of the CrPC within a period of three days.

“Otherwise the legal fraternity will chalk out its future course of action which may also lead to strikes and other recourse till acceptance of its demand,” the PBC’s press statement stated.

The provincial bar councils has also expressed their reservations on the decision of NJPMC while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council’s Chairman Executive Committee after consultation with the members called an emergency meeting on Saturday (today) to decide future course of action.

The decision of NJPMC will have serious impact on the business of legal community. It is for this reason the bar councils and associations are joining hands to fight for a ‘cause’.

Baluchistan Bar Council has also announced boycott from appearing in courts today. The office bearers of Balochistan bar Council believe that the aim of decision was to make the country a police-state which cannot be acceptable.

They further demanded to strengthen the prevailing justice system instead of introduction of model courts. Islamabad Bar Association has also announced strike to record its protest against the said decision. 

In response of the bar councils, NJPMC’s Secretary Dr. Raheem Awan issued a press statement saying that it appears from a section of the press that some sections of the Bar Councils and Bar Association have not properly understood the recent decision regarding newly created office of the Superintendent of Police (Complaints) in every District of the country under the relevant law.

During the NJPMC, Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had stated that currently courts of the Sessions Judges and Additional Sessions Judges, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, are burdened with cases relating to giving directions to the Police Authorities for registration of case.

He had further stated that the above referred jurisdiction tantamount to involvement of judiciary in executive functions and is in- collision with the principle of separation of powers.