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March 22, 2020

Sindh Bar Council decides to stay away from court proceedings from March 24 to 28

Karachi

March 22, 2020

The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) on Saturday announced its decision to stay away from all the court proceedings from March 24 to March 28 except in urgent matters. The council took the decision in view of the prevailing deteriorating condition regarding the coronavirus pandemic, due ti which carrying on with court proceedings as per routine might endanger the lawyers, judges and litigants.

SBC Vice Chairman Syed Haider Imam Rizvi and Executive Committee Chairman Shafqat Rahim said in furtherance of a previous decision, the provincial bar council had decided that lawyers throughout the province shall stay away from all courts, including the high court and special courts, between March 24 and March 28 except in urgent matters.

Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court Bar Association has requested Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh to take precautionary measures during the coronavirus pandemic by reducing the benches to one-third or making a situation similar to vacations.

SHCBA Secretary Haseeb Jamali proposed that additional measures should be taken for at least two weeks under which staff aged above 55 may be sent on leave and cases of senior advocates aged above 55 years should not be fixed unless they are of an urgent matter.

He said the focal person and the committee in the light of the national judicial policy making committee meeting may be immediately constituted, besides only fresh matters, date by court matters and bail matters with extreme urgency may be fixed after scrutiny by the additional or deputy registrar.

He stated that litigants should not be allowed in court rooms and court branches and all public dealings at the offices of the Nazir, official assignee, registrar branches and other offices may be immediately suspended.

He said that fixing of regular court work pertaining to original side as well as appellate side which does not include life or liberty of a citizen may be deferred for time being and such non-urgent matter may include hearing of application, hearing of main case, regular appeals, evidence, arguments, final disposal, tax matters, contempt proceedings, fixing of matters on orders of commissioners report, non-prosecution, etc.

Jamali also suggested that all the under-trial and convicted prisoners who were not involved in henious crimes or in crimes against society be released on bail or parole and same steps should also be taken with regard to the sessions courts and district judiciary in the entire province.