Don’t let judicial system collapse, LHC CJ to delinquent lawyers

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Issues bailable arrest warrants for contemnor, Multan LHCBA president

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah on Monday issued bailable arrest warrants of contemnor Lahore High Court Bar Association (Multan bench) President Sher Zaman Qureshi for not appearing before the court after misbehaviour with a judge.

He issued these orders when Multan police produced a report that Sher Zaman Qureshi has repeatedly refused to accept court orders.

Multan LHCBA President Sher Zaman, along with a lawyer misbehaved, with Justice Qasim Khan on July 24 when he was holding proceedings of a case related to a mosque falling on the route of a government project in Vehari Chowk. The judge had reportedly asked the lawyers to sit on benches while their colleague was arguing but the lawyers had refused to leave the place. The judge had to leave the court room after an argument with the lawyers.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, started its proceedings against the delinquent advocates under the law of contempt and High Court Rules and Orders for suspension or removal of the said advocates from the practice of the high court. Justice Muhammad Anwaar-ul-Haq, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali, Justice Ameer Bhatti and Justice Shams Mirza are the other members of the bench. LHCBA President Zulfikar Chaudhry , Vice President Rashid Lodhi, Advocate General Shakil-ur -Rehman, law officers and lawyers from Multan appeared before the court.

As the bench started proceedings, the LHC CJ expressed severe anger over the absence of contemnor Sher Zaman and after briefly hearing lawyers from Multan and Lahore, he issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Sher Zaman and ordered District Police Officer to produce him before the court today. However, he issued restraining orders for the time being after getting personal guaranties from senior lawyers of Multan and Lahore that Sher Zaman will appear before the bench on August 2 which is tomorrow.  He then issued bailable arrest warrants for him to appear.

The chief justice warned that if Sher Zaman does not appear on Wednesday, the law will take its own course. “As a chief justice of the Lahore High Court, it is my responsibility to ensure sanctity of judges and the court and I will do so.”

The perturbed chief justice on the occasion remarked: “When lawyers will not obey the court orders, who else will respect the courts and the law? If lawyers continue to do so, the judicial system will collapse which is neither beneficial for judges nor lawyers. We respect the professional lawyers but no one is above the law. Please respect court for sake of your children. ”

 

Referring to the unruly behaviour of Multan LHCBA president, he said, “At the time when we are conducting hearing, he (Sher) is there to close down courts. About 150 to 200 urgent cases are daily heard in Multan bench. Who is responsible for sufferings of litigants there?” The chief justice asked lawyers present in the court room to condemn the incident before the media. However, the lawyers said they condemn the incident but will not condemn it before the media.

The LHC CJ further observed: “It has never happened in the history of the judiciary that effigies of sitting judges are being burnt.  The nameplates of judges are being broken. The protest of lawyers is continuing. In which direction are we heading? ”

Earlier, a group of lawyers had arrived outside the court of Justice Qasim Khan and broken his nameplate soon after the incident.