LAHORE: A large number of lawyers led by the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) on Tuesday locked the courtrooms of the subordinate judiciary in the provincial capital in a bid to press the government to restore all the deposed judges, including deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
The charged lawyers took this action after passing an unanimous resolution in a general house meeting of the Lahore Bar Association held on Tuesday morning. However, the lawyers faced no difficulty in their task as the staff of the courts and police deployed over there remained calm to avoid clash. The LBA had already announced locking down the courts and also demonstrated locks in Thursdayís rally.
Asim Cheema, LBA senior vice president, presided over the general house meeting, as the president, Manzoor Qadir, was not available due to his engagement in Islamabad. Cheema tabled a resolution to lock the courts and said the bar would follow the decision of the house despite advice given by the lawyersí senior leadership.
Hundreds of lawyers, chanting slogans of ìboycott, boycottî came out of the barroom and marched to the court of senior Civil Judge Zafar Yab Chaddar. They were chanting slogans demanding an independent judiciary and restoration of the remaining deposed judges, including Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
When the lawyers rushed towards the court of senior civil judge, where hearing of cases were in process, the judge left the courtroom and lawyers put a lock on the door. The crowd then proceeded to other courts and locked all the 51 courtrooms. After finishing the job at the Civil Courts, they proceeded to the nearby Sessions Courts and locked 31 courts over there.
A group of lawyers also went to the District Courts and forced 15 judicial officers and their staff to leave the courtrooms. Lawyers at the Cantt and Model Town Courts also halted the judicial work as they locked 22 courts situated at both places. The litigants were surprised with the sudden move by lawyers, saying there were already miseries due to lawyersí weekly boycott on every Thursday.
Some senior lawyers also condemned the attempt as they believe that it would discolor the lawyersí image in the public and they might loose public support. The policemen who had brought under trial prisoners to make them appear before different courts were confused whether they should take the accused back to prisons or wait for courts to be unlocked.