The Lahore High Court chief justice on Monday directed the chairman executive committee of Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) to appear before the court on Tuesday (today) to assist it in resolving a dispute regarding suspension of licenses of three female lawyers, including Supreme Court Bar Association Vice-President Imrana Perveen Baloch.
The court issued the order on a petition moved by Imrana Baloch, challenging the PbBC order for suspending her license as well as those of her two female colleagues, namely Humera Bashir and Shakeela Rana. She said six members of the PbBC, including Executive Committee Chairman Rana Muhammad Asif Saeed, on July 7 had illegally detained three of the women and used abusive language against them. She alleged that they also faced harassment when they protested against unlawful restoration of license of a lawyer, Rana Altaf, who was a blue-eyed of the executive committee chairman. Humera had also filed a complaint against Rana Altaf, accusing him of torturing her.
On legal grounds, Imarana, through her counsel Ch Zulfiqar Ali, president of the Lahore Bar Association, pleaded that she was an advocate of the Supreme Court and PbBC had no jurisdiction under the Legal Practitioners & Bar Councils Act 1973 as the same lies with the Pakistan Bar Council. She pointed out that the PbBC had misunderstood the facts.
The court observed that it was a dispute between a senior office-bearer of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the PbBC. Imrana said she was vice-president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and never indulged in any kind of rowdyism.
“To mind of this court, a dispute arising from what has been stated by learned counsel can be resolved swiftly. Under the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973 this court has a role to play in the affairs of the Bar Councils. In the present case, the court perceives itself to have a parental role,” the CJ said.