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April 21, 2020

Reply sought on plea seeking aid for lawyers

Lahore

April 21, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices to the federal and provincial governments on a petition by the bar seeking allocation of funds for the lawyers facing financial crisis due to the pandemic lockdown.

The Lahore High Court Bar Association’s secretary had filed the petition pleading that lawyers had been suffering from acute financial crisis since the pandemic lockdown had been imposed limiting the movement and hearing of cases in courts.

He said the government decided to support all people of all segments affected by the lockdown and earmarked funds for them. However, he said the government had not established any such fund for the lawyers who had no other option except practicing the law before courts. He asked the court to order the government to provide financial support to the lawyers and establish a fund to this effect. Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan heard the contention and issued to the respondent governments for submission of their replies within a week.

Petition dismissed: Lahore High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by a lawyer seeking a direction for the government to transfer funds, received under Access to Justice Programme from different countries, to bar councils and associations in the wake of Covid-19 lockdown.

Advocate Shabbir Hussain pleaded in his petition that the government had been getting huge funds from time to time from international forums for the welfare of legal fraternity. However, he said, the government had not, deliberately, transferred the funds to the bars. The lawyer asked the court to order the government to transfer the entitled funds to Pakistan Bar Council, Punjab Bar Council and bar associations across the country.

He pleaded that the funds received under the access to justice programme should also be handed over to the bar councils and associations so that they could support the lawyers being suffered a lot due to the pandemic lockdown. The petitioner pointed out that high courts of other provinces had also sought reports from the government on petitions filed by lawyers with the same prayer.