RAWALPINDI: Lawyers of Rawalpindi Bar Association (RBA) here on Saturday protested at Kutchery Chowk and vowed to continue their struggle till the deposed chief justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, is reinstated.
About 200 to 300 lawyers staged a rally on the court premises and came out on Jhelum Road. They blocked Kutchery Chowk for about 20 minutes and chanted slogans against the delay in the restoration of the deposed chief justice and criticised the Pakistan People’s Party-led government for reinstating hand-picked judges of high courts and the Supreme Court. The lawyers returned to the bar hall and held a general body meeting under the chair of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) President Sardar Asmatullah. However there was no representative of the district bar present in the meeting.
The speakers criticised the People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF) for supporting PPP’s policies on the issue of restoration of judges and trying to create friction among the legal fraternity.
They also flayed the RBA secretary-general for his anti-lawyers activities and for trying to create a rift in the bar. They vowed to continue their struggle for the supremacy of law in the country. Some lawyers from the PPP said 90 per cent members of the PLF favoured the return of the deposed chief justice and only 10 per cent supported the party leadership.
Sardar Asmatullah said the lawyers should not raise slogans against the elected people and refrain from quarrelling with each other.
He said they would continue their struggle for Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry even if all other deposed judges return to the courts after taking fresh oaths. The judges abstained from taking oath under PCO due to the motivation given to them by Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and now they are taking fresh oaths without him. The lawyers, however, would not leave the chief justice, he added.
The lawyers’ representative said the constitution did not allow two oaths for the same office and it was not understandable why the judges were taking second oath. He praised the judges for not supporting the November 3 actions of a dictator but criticised them for leaving their chief justice alone.