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July 4, 2020

SBC condemns amendment ‘depriving young lawyers of voting right in bar polls’

Karachi

July 4, 2020

The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) on Friday strongly condemned the amendment to Rule175-K of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Rules.

As per the amendment, two years of continuous membership of the lawyer is required for exercising the voting right in the bar association elections. Adopting a resolution, SBC Vice Chairman Syed Haider Imam Rizvi, Chairman Executive Committee Shafqat Rahim Rajput and other members expressed their serious resentment and reservation on the amendment introduced in Rule175-K of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Rules under which no member of the bar association shall have the right to vote in an election unless the voter is a member of the bar association concerned continuously for a period of two years before the bar elections.

They said the SBC was of the view that the amendment in Rule175-K was motivated with malafide just to deprive the fresh and young advocates to participate in the election process. They said such kind of prohibition to participate in the election process would result in serious disenfranchisement to the young lawyer and that it was absolutely unacceptable to the SBC.

They said the aforesaid amendment was aimed not only against the lawyers and the legal profession but also introducing a new culture in the electoral process. They said the attempt was aimed at discouraging the young lawyers from participating the election process and such act would only strengthen the routes of those who were against the rule of the law, the independence of the judiciary and democracy.

They said the amendment in the rules was against the democratic and electoral norms, as under the Pakistani law the voter who attained the age of 18 years was competent to be enrolled as a voter in their electoral area. They questioned the motive to restrict the lawyer to wait for two years for exercising their right to vote in the bar elections.

The SBC through its resolution demanded the Pakistan Bar Council to immediately withdraw the amendment, failing which the SBC would call upon all lawyers bodies in Pakistan and those members of the PBC who are in opposition benches to play their active role in resisting the forces aiming at depriving the right of the vote from the young lawyers of the country.

They also warned that if the amendment in Rule175-K was not withdrawn and the young lawyers were not permitted to vote, then the SBC shall approach to the Supreme Court by filing a petition against this amendment of the Pakistan Bar Council.