LAHORE - Lawyers of five divisions yesterday set up hunger strike outside the Punjab Bar Council to protest against the Lahore High Court decision rejecting their demand of creation of separation benches.

The lawyers from Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Sahiwal and DG Khan, camped on Fane Road and vowed to continue hunger strike till their demand was met. On their first day of strike, they blocked the road for traffic which caused problem to the commuters.

The lawyers said they had been protesting against the decision in their divisions but their genuine concern was not being heard. People belonging to Mianwali or Khushab or Faisalabad division suffer a lot to come to Lahore for their cases, they held. “If LHC benches could be established in Multan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi then why not in other far flung areas,” they asked.

Lawyers and general public both are suffering due to long journey - one of the biggest hurdles in their way for justice.

The lawyers said there was no logic behind rejecting their genuine demand of creating new benches in these divisions. They also started a signatory campaign in support of their demand of more benches.

“Unfortunately, no reason was given in the full court’s decision rejecting their demand of creation of separation benches,” one of the protesting lawyers told The Nation. He further said: “We shall continue our protest till our demands are met.”

On July 18, the LHC full court headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising 46 judges of the court rejected the demand of lawyers for creation of separate permanent benches in their respective divisions. The full court continued meeting continuously for three days.

However, a press statement issued by the LHC media office did not mention any reason behind the rejection of lawyers’ demand.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court Bar Association appreciated the full court’s decision while the LHCBA did not come up with open stance. Other leaders of lawyer communities also kept mum over the issue.

Since the day the LHC announced the verdict, the lawyers of the divisions concerned are on strike.

Two new benches at SC registry

Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali yesterday constituted two benches at Lahore registry of Supreme Court for the week commencing from Aug 1.

The Bench No-I is comprised of senior puisne judge, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, while the Bench No-II includes Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Shan.