islamabad - The differences between the president and secretary general of Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) are intensifying day-by-day resulting in the crippling of affairs of the lawyer’s body.

This tussle between the two office-bearers of the bar has led the suspension of bar membership of IHCBA President Arif Chaudhary Advocate through a resolution of the executive committee by one group and the removal of Secretary-General Sardar Arbab Alam Abbasi as signatory of bank accounts of the bar through a resolution passed by the general body meeting of the other group.

Talking to The Nation on this issue, President IHCBA alleged that some judges against whom references were pending before the Supreme Judicial Council are involved in all this fuss, as he actively pursued the references against them.

Arif Chaudary asserted that he had started a lawyers club for the welfare of the lawyers at the cost of 10.5 million rupees and 85 per cent of its construction work has completed while his opponent group did not want to see the completion of this project during his tenure.

He added that they had got the support of IHCBA’s secretary general and creating hurdles in payments to the contractor. Therefore, the president said that a general house meeting was held on October 17 and passed a resolution taking back powers of co-signatory from Sardar Arbab Alam Abbasi and the same was given to the Joint Secretary Muhammad Asif Tanboli.

He told that the resolution was passed as per section 11 (J) of the Constitution of IHCBA.

Replying to a query regarding the suspension of his bar membership, Arif Chaudhary replied that there is no justification of this resolution because the executive committee has no powers to remove the president.

“It all was done to stop the operation of bank accounts and the secretary prepared the notification in his office which is condemnable,” said IHCBA president. In this regard, when IHCBA Secretary General Arbab Alam was contacted, he said that they had taken all measures as per the constitution of IHCBA against the illegal steps taken by Arif Chaudhary. He said that in this connection, the executive committee of IHCBA had passed a resolution and suspended his bar membership while a notification in this matter has also been issued.

Sardar Arbab said that according to the said notification, Arif Chaudhary called an illegal meeting of the general house of IHCBA on October 17 without information and approval of the Executive Committee of IHCBA as well as without fulfilling constitutional requirements. “In that so-called meeting of the general house, which was even lacking quorum as prescribed by the constitution and did not constitute the meeting, and got passed a fraudulent resolution depriving the Secretary of the IHCBA from his constitutional powers of sanction and co-sign the cheques virtually making the secretary dysfunctional although the Secretary as well as any other member of the office-bearers/Executive Committee was in attendance of the said unconstitutional meeting which was expression that none was endorsing such illegal and unconstitutional acts of the president which were not only the criminal breach of trust but also fraud, misconduct and violation of the constitution warranting even cancellation of basic membership of such a member, whether a member or an office-holder of the IHCBA,” read the said notification.

It added that being the president, he also stopped sanction and payment of amounts from the accounts of the association to meet day-to-day expenses including salaries of the IHCBA employee practically making the Association dysfunctional and causing frustration among the employees of the association.

The notification further said that illegal and unconstitutional acts and omissions of the president created a rift and clashing situation among the members of the IHCBA as well as between IHCBA and IBC which resulted in lowering their dignity and prestige.

Therefore, it said that in pursuance of paragraph 6 of Article 21 read with Articles 13, 15 and 18 as well as all other enabling provisions of the Constitution of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, Islamabad, with 2/3 majority of the Executive Committee of the IHCBA, the basic membership of Arif Chaudhry as the member of the IHCBA is hereby suspended as a consequence thereof Arif Chaudhry is no more the President of the IHCBA during the period of suspension of his basic membership and shall not exercise the functions and powers as the President of the Association, with immediate effect and until further orders. It further said that during the suspension of Arif Chaudhry, the Vice President shall perform the functions and exercise the powers of the president as contained in Article 11 of the Constitution of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, Islamabad.