LAHORE: Developing consensus over the timely dispensation of justice to the masses, the judges and lawyers have vowed to take effective measures. It was decided at a conference “Effective Role of Punjab Bar Council for Access to Justice” organised by Punjab Bar Council here on Saturday.

The representatives of both bar and bench shared their views and gave suggestions to each other that how they could work together for the provision of timely justice. The lawyers’ representatives put their demands before Lahore High Court Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik who also asked the lawyers to play their due role to eradicate injustice from the society.

PBC Vice Chairman Farah Ijaz Baig, while welcoming the guests, stressed the need to consider every litigant as equal by the courts. She said the bar council has formed Legal Aid Committee, Jails Reforms Committee and Human Rights Committee to provide assistance to the masses in having access to the justice. Addressing the participants, Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal said for speedy justice role of Reconciliation Councils was very effective. Unfortunately, since last 8 years, there are no local bodies existing and resultantly reconciliation councils also have no existence, she regretted.

She added that Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid tried for quick disposal of jail appeals after visiting the jails but lawyers of Karachi started taking out protests accusing him of minimizing their practice opportunities by providing free legal service to the inmates. Because of such behaviour of lawyers, military courts have come into existence, she told the gathering.–Staff Reporter

Nasira also stressed the Punjab Bar Council to make functional its legal aid committees for free legal service to the deserving people.

She pointed out that senior lawyers do not pay attention to the new comers. She further alleged that seniors use juniors in preparing cases but do not pay them fee.

She demanded from the PBC to ensure functioning of law colleges on the merit. She also said that there should be topic on law at graduation level.

Nasira also stressed the Right to Information Act should be implemented in letter and spirit and whistle blowers must be protected.

Senior Advocate Hamid Khan demanded the bar to eliminate all spurious law colleges which are preparing briefless lawyers and creating hurdle in the way of speedy justice. He also urged the senior lawyers to establish law firms and accommodate new lawyers for their training.

He demanded from the LHC chief justice to set up case management system to ensure fixation of cases before the judges in accordance with their expertise in specific field. For this purpose, case managers should be appointed, he suggested.

Lahore High Court President Pir Masood Chishti, while addressing the participants, said the real purpose of the bar is to struggle for provision of justice to the masses. Only judges and lawyers are considered critical parts of justice system ignoring the litigants, he added.

On the occasion, a representative of PBC also announced that they have decided never to go on strike in five years tenure.

On the other hand, the chief guest of the occasion, LHC CJ Manzoor Ahmed Malik, said although the conference was on the role of Punjab Bar Council for access to justice, everyone is laying demands before him.

He criticised that the representatives of lawyers, judges, police, jail authorities and prosecution were present in the conference but no one was representing the litigants.

“Pakistan has a good set up of laws but the question is how to implement them. It is the responsibility of the elected representatives of the lawyers to give suggestions in this regard,” he added.

He underscored the need of educating new lawyers about their appearance in courts, preparing cases and pleading their cases. He said lawyers and judges are supposed to give respect to each other.