LAHORE - Lawyers, it seems, are getting aggressive by the passage of time and want the judges to give them favourable decisions, regardless of the merit of their cases.

For this purpose, they don’t hesitate even from pressuring courts, a trend which is bringing a bad name to the legal fraternity, whose primary job is to go by law, not force.

Last week, an unfortunate incident took place in a local court.

Some lawyers entered the courtroom demanding a ‘favourable decision’ for their clients, without relying on the strength of arguments. Instead of putting across the case in a civilised manner which is the normal practice, they were shouting before the court. The loud mouths attracted the attention of many people present in the neighbouring courtrooms of civil judges at LDA building, and they rushed to the scene.

“Stop fighting, it is a court!,” said the people as they were showed in a CCTV footage.

It was the second lawyers’ fight with a judge in a courtroom during the last week.

In another similar incident, Islampura police booked three lawyers under terrorism and other criminal charges for misbehaving with additional district & sessions judge Irfan Anjum in open court and ransacking his chamber allegedly for not getting a ‘favourable’ decision in a case.

The police registered a case on the complaint of Irfan Anjum, the aggrieved judge, against Barrister Eihtesham Ameeruddin, Mehar Ahsan and Inam.

The trio had appeared before the judge to plead a petition and sought a direction for police to register a case. During arguments, Barrister Ameeruddin got infuriated and started shouting at the judge. The situation deteriorated to an extent that the lawyers chased the judge to his retiring room and even manhandled him and ransacked the furniture.

Hearing the complaint of the judge, a Lahore High Court full bench headed by Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi summoned the lawyers on Jan 31.

The LHC during the week issued bailable arrest warrants to Director General of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for not appearing before it despite repeated notices issued to him.  LDA DG was required in a petition filed by a citizen for the implementation of the court’s order. The petitioner pleaded that the court had directed the LDA DG to provide him with duplicate documents of his property as he had lost the original ones. Several months had been passed but the orders were yet to be complied with, he told the court.

Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan issued his bailable arrest warrant when the bureaucrat repeatedly ignored the court’s orders. Non-compliance of court orders is also contempt. The court will resume hearing on Feb9.

In another incident of similar nature, another court issued bailable warrants for the arrest of Kasur sub-registrar Ghazanfar Naveed Chaudhry as he also did not appear before the court. In its order, the court directed the district police officer of Kasur to ensure appearance of the sub-registrar on Feb 2.

In addition to this, the LHC took many important cases including BZU sub-campus case, LPG case, Punjab Healthcare Commission and NGOs petitions. Pensioners’ case and petitions seeking policy for domestic workers were also taken up by the LHC.

In BZU sub-campus case, the LHC dismissed the request of provincial minister Zaeem Hussain Qadri seeking exemption from personal appearance in the proceedings. Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who headed the full bench, observed that the BZU sub-campus scandal appeared to be the largest of education sector in the country’s history.

The Punjab advocate general made the request on behalf of the minister. The court summoned higher education commission chairman, secretary higher education department and BZU vice chancellor and adjourned hearing until Jan 30.

In a petition against auction of Liquefied Gas Petroleum (LPG), the court restrained the Pakistan Petroleum Limited from auctioning 400 metric ton LPG and sought reply from the ministry on Feb 2.

Representing a LPG marketing company, Barrister Sardar Qasim argued that the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) had been auctioning the LPG in sheer violation of the LPG Policybeyond price fixed by the government.

The counsel stated that the auction of the gas on an exorbitant price would ultimately put burden on the pockets of the end consumers. He alleged that the gas producers (PPL and others) had been making a lot of money by selling the gas on higher prices and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had failed to perform its duties.

Barrister Qasim told the court that the PPL was going to hold another auction of 400 MT LPG on Feb 2 ignoring the rules and policy.  The court sought reports from Ogra, PPL and directed the secretary petroleum to hold an inquiry into the alleged irregularities and deferred further proceedings for 20 days.

The LHC issued notice to federal and provincial governments on a petition challenging establishment of Punjab Healthcare Commission to regulate medical profession.

The Punjab Dental Practitioners Association had filed the petition submitting that after the 18th amendment to the Constitution only the federal government could legislate regarding medical profession. The petitioner said the Punjab Healthcare Commission Act 2010 and entire superstructure built through it was against the Constitution.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the arguments and issued notices to the attorney general and the advocate general Punjab for Feb 2.

During the week, the LHC disposed of petitions moved by SAP-PK and WISE challenging restraining orders of the government against them. The court passed the order after the state authorities gave undertaking that the NGOs would not be barred from their working.

Moreover, the LHC sought reply from federal law ministry on a petition questioning a debate in the senate to amend blasphemy law initiated, as per the petition, by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar.

Justice Shujaat Ali Khan sought reply from the ministry within two weeks and also issued notice to Senator Farhatullah Babar. 

At lower courts, two important cases surfaced during the week: one was about a mega land scam in Kasur and the other was about the acquittal of 115 suspects in Joseph colony’s fire case.  In Joseph colony, the prosecution could not prove the suspects guilty after which an ATC judge set them free. While in land scam, a judicial magistrate remanded a serving additional deputy commissioner, a former brigadier and six other suspects into custody of Anti-Corruption Establishment over charges of land fraud.

The suspects had committed mega property fraud of 1250 kanal land in Kasur district in 2013.

A judicial magistrate of district courts granted three-day physical remand to a serving additional deputy commissioner, a former brigadier and six other suspects into custody of Anti-Corruption Establishment over charges of land fraud.