ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the highest authority of the nation’s attorneys, has voted to withdraw the licenses of three Supreme Court judges and to forbid family members of judges of the higher courts from practicing law in their home jurisdictions.
Following their retirement, the names of the three former judges including the previous chief justice were reinstated on the Supreme Court’s “Roll of the Advocates.” The Supreme Court judges are prohibited by law from engaging in legal practice, but they are licensed to engage in other legal services, such as arbitration and consultation.
Regarding the reinstatement of the licenses, there were two points of view in the PBC enrolling committee. Previously, the committee previously chaired by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa rejected the request made by the former chief justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali to have his name reinstated on the “Roll of the Advocates.”
It is known that a recently retired judge requested his license be reinstated before the PBC enrolling committee, which is now led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the senior-most judge on the Supreme Court.
However, the enrolling committee forwarded the complaint to the PBC General House due to the divergent opinions on the subject. In addition to rejecting the request on Wednesday, the General House also opted to give three retired judges a show-cause notice before terminating their licenses.
The house discussed several agenda issues. It also decided to outlaw the superior court judges’ families from practicing at their residences. By a majority vote, the house chose Hasan Raza Pasha to lead the Executive Committee and Haroon ur Rasheed to serve as vice chairman.
Munir Ahmed Khan Kakar objected during the session, stating that although the PBC was a representation of the Federation, no nominations from Sindh and Balochistan had been submitted for the previous three years.
Six members of the Professional Lawyers Group, also known as the Hamid Khan Group, released a statement in which they claimed that they staged a walkout from the house in protest of this “biassed” treatment.
“This gravely undermines the idea of federation and heightens the sense of injustice among Sindhi and Baloch lawyers. Following this, we the undersigned PBC members left in protest of this unfair treatment, according to the statement.
The PBC, which is composed of Supreme Court attorneys, also denounced the detention of Fawad Chaudhry, a senior member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). “We consider it a right of every citizen to be treated by the law and the constitution. We further demand that he be immediately exonerated of these false accusations,” it added.