KARACHI: Lawyers all over Pakistan will be observing strike on Friday, June 14 in protest over judicial reference filed by government against Justice Qazi Fayez Essa of Supreme Court of Pakistan and Justice Karim Khan Agha of High Court of Sindh for non-declaring assets/properties owned by them or spouse off-shores.
Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the apex body of the lawyers, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, Karachi Bar Association, biggest bar of the country have called for a strike on ground that references against due judges are ill founded and based on malice. Qazi Fayez Essa was stated to be made target after two judgments one in Quetta Blast case which claimed lives of mover 60 lawyers, court clerks etc and in Faizabad Dharana case. A lecture given by him at Lahore was stated to be behind the decision to get rid Justice Essa has already raised the question that whether the persons who filed reference against him do meet the standard of “Sadiq” and “Ameen” making them competent to file such a reference. he has pointedly asked that whether Prime Minister Imran Khan who forwarded the reference to President Arif Alvi has declared assets owned by his wives and children.
The date of hearing of reference against Justice Karim Khan Agha is yet to be fixed. The bar councils, lawyer leaders question the haste in which reference against Justice Essa was being processed on fast track basis while more than 300 references and complaints against superior court judges remains pending since many years.
A section of lawyers, mostly from Punjab have formed an action committee supporting the government action and have also termed the expulsion of Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh A Naseem and Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan from Karachi Bar Association as “unfortunate” and illegal while PBC has again demanded resignation of the two top government law officers.
Despite division in ranks, the lawyers are expected to vent anger and disapproval of government’s act of filing the judicial reference which will be heard on Friday by Supreme Judicial Council, the body to deal with such cases.