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August 31, 2019

Lawyers’ jirga: PHC CJ withdraws contempt of court notice to PBC vice-chairman


August 31, 2019

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth on Friday withdrew contempt of court notice against the Pakistan Bar Council vice-chairman Syed Amjad Shah on the written request of a 12-member jirga of lawyer leaders.

The jirga members included Hafiz Muhammad Idrees Sheikh, chairman Executive Committee Pakistan Bar Council, Abdul Latif Afridi, president Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA), Fazle Haq Abbasi, former president Supreme Court Bar Association, Akhtar Hussain, member Judicial Commission of Pakistan, Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon, president Lahore High Court Bar Association and Member Pakistan Bar Council, Abdul Haleem Siddiqui, member Sindh Bar Council Noor Alam Khan, member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council Abid Ali Khan, general secretary PHCBA Syed Taimur Ali Shah, president Peshawar Bar Association, Ali Zaman, PHCBA vice-president, KP Advocate General Shumail Ahmad Butt and Hafeezur Rehman.

“We, the representatives of various national bodies of lawyers, being elders of the bars, attended this court (Court No.1) as a jirga in line with the longstanding rich traditions of this province and requested the chief justice PHC that the matter in hand warrants a magnanimous consideration,” stated a jointly written statement of the lawyers’ leaders submitted to the chief justice.

The written statement, a copy of which is available with The News, stated that the chief justice was further apprised that the present (lawyer leaders) firmly believe in the integrity and stature of this court (Court No.1). “Therefore, in the larger interest of both bar and bench, the notice of contempt against Syed Amjad Shah, vice chairman Pakistan Bar Council, may graciously be withdrawn/discharged,” requested the lawyer leaders in the joint statement, signed by all the jirga members.

Earlier, the jirga members met PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth in his chamber, following which the chief justice withdrew the notice after receiving written draft prepared by the jirga members submitted to him in the courtroom. Pakistan Bar Council vice-chairman Syed Amjad Shah also came to PHC in compliance with the court order. However, as per the Jirga decision, he did not appear before the court in the contempt of court case and the jirga patched up the matter with the chief justice. The PHC had issued the contempt of court notice to the Pakistan Bar Council vice-chairman, directing him to appear before the court for his contemptuous interview against the PHC chief justice.

In the contempt of court notice issued through the additional registrar, it was stated that the court honours and acknowledges the fundamental right to speech and expression cited in Article 19 of Constitution, but some portion of the interview appears to deviate from this right.

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