ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has urged the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Multan bench president to appear before a full bench of the Lahore High Court to clear his position.

PBC Vice-Chairman Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon and Chairman Executive Committee Hafeez-ur-Rehman Chaudhry said in a press statement: “We all lawyer representatives, on the one side, say that even the prime minister is not above the law, then how we can deviate from the same principle for a lawyer representative”.

On August 1, the Lahore High Court issued bailable arrest warrants for LHCBA (Multan bench) President Sher Zaman Qureshi for not appearing before the court for his alleged misbehaviour with a judge.

A larger bench headed by LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order when Multan police said that Qureshi refused to accept the court orders. The PBC leaders asked Qureshi that “it is imperative to pay respect to the court which is important for the smooth functioning of the system in the larger interest of the legal fraternity as well as the judiciary”.

They have expressed concern over the stalemate in view of hooliganism in and outside the courtroom of Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan in the Lahore High Court Multan bench, and thereafter, in the court of LHC Chief Justice a couple of weeks back. They said this not only has tarnished the image of the legal fraternity but also endangered the system of dispensation of justice, creating and enhancing the void between the bench and the bar.

“The members of the bar especially their elected representatives having always strived for the rule of law and independence of the judiciary, are supposed to demonstrate more responsible and matured conduct for strengthening the system,” the statement said.

The PBC leaders also said that the judiciary was also expected to acknowledge the contribution and sacrifices of members of the bar in that regard and give them due importance.

“As the continued rift between the bench and the bar is a serious threat to the system of dispensation of justice, the PBC, being the apex bar body, urges the office bearers of the all lawyer bodies including the Supreme Court Bar Association to perform responsibly and discourage miscreants to make the bench and bar, free of spoilers”.