Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mehmoodul Hassan, Khalid Mumtaz elected as KBA president, General Secretary

Khalid Mumtaz General Secretary KBA
Mehmoodul Hassan advocate has been elected as the president of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA), as per unofficial results. Polling for the bar elections- 2012 took place on Saturday in which 5,633 registered lawyers cast their votes. Mehmoodul Hassan and Salahuddin Gandapur were vying for the slot of president.
According to unofficial results, Nasir Mehmood was elected vice-president, Khalid Mumtaz general secretary, Shazia Manzoor joint secretary, Naeem Memon treasurer and Shazia Latif as librarian.(DN Report)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Karachi Lawyers end weekly strike as

The long-drawn issue regarding the functioning of NGOs’ offices at the court and jail premises has finally be resolved and subsequently the lawyers ended their weekly strike after the government-formed committee informed them that they had shifted their offices to Gulistan-e-Jauher area. The committee headed by Faroughe Naseem met the Karachi Bar Association’s office-bearers and formally announced that the NGOs have virtually stopped their legal aid operation at the jail premises and shifted their offices in Gulistan-e-Jauher. President KBA Mohammed Aqil and General Secretary Haider Imam Rizvi told the media on Friday that the NGOs offices in jails have formally been closed down. 
The committee also told them the process of collecting data would be completed within days following which these offices would be handed over to the Sindh government. All the NGOs’ offices situated within the jail premises, including Special Prison for Women, Juvenile, Central Prison Karachi and Landhi jail have stopped functioning, Rizvi told The News. The city lawyers had been observing weekly strike on Saturdays by not appearing in the courts in protest against the functioning of NGOs offices in jails. 
Their offices were also functioning at the City Courts which were forcefully removed by the lawyers last month. Later, the lawyers decided to boycott legal proceedings on every Saturday until the NGOs’ offices were also removed from the jail premises. In this connection, a petition was also filed in the Sindh High Court which stayed the functioning of NGOs offices but this too did not satisfy the lawyers who were demanding immediate removal of these offices. (The News)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2 KBA members among 11 killed in Karachi

In the continuing acts of violence, 11 more people were killed including two advocates in the provincial metropolis in separate incidents and target killings here on Friday.
According to details, two advocates were shot dead near FTC Bridge Sharah-i- Faisal Road within the limits of Brigade police station.
The incident took place near FTC bridge where Advocate Muhammad Saleem Bhatti and Advocate Faheem Riaz were going on a car bearing registration No Z-9053, when unidentified armed men opened indiscriminate firing on them.
As a result both received bullets on their faces and died on the spot. The car also knocked down a cyclist namely Nouman.
After getting the information, heavy contingents of police rushed to the spot and shifted the bodies to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for autopsy. The doctors said they received bullets on their faces.
SHO Akhtar Abbas said police recovered empty shells of 9 MM pistol from the spot. President of Karachi Bar Association Muhammad Aqeel Advocate condemned the killings and said that KBA will boycott courts on Saturday (today) and will make a strategy for further action.
Police said victims were members of PML-N Lawyers Forum and Saleem Bhatti was the Vice President of the forum.
Police officials said both victims were going home after meeting their friend Khalil while Advocate Faheem was going to drop Saleem Bhatti to his home, but when they reached near FTC bridge unidentified armed men targeted them. Faheem was the resident of Liaquat Square Malir, while Saleem Bhatti was the resident of Sheikh Arcade Tariq Road. No case was registered till filing of this report.
Meanwhile, an activist of Sunni Tehreek was shot dead in Rozi Goth in the limits of Sarjani police station.
The victim 40-year-old Zahid Qadri was the resident of Rozi Goth Sarjani Town.He was sitting outside his home when unidentified armed men targeted him.
The body was shifted to JPMC for legal formalities.
Tension gripped surrounding areas of Sarjani town after news of ST worker’s killing spread.
Two people were injured during clash between two religious groups in New Karachi as heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed in sensitive areas.
In separate incidents, three people were gunned down when unidentified armed men attacked two teashops located near Sindhi hotel, in New Karachi Industrial Area police limits.
In the first incident, armed motorcyclists targeted New Quetta Hotel, resulting in killing of owner Saeed Jummah, 35, and his employee Ikhlaq, 20.
Shortly after this incident, armed men also attacked another hotel named Quetta Bismillah Hotel located in a few distance, as a result one 28-year-old Subhan was killed.
SHO Muhammad Rashid said all three victims were Pakhtun and hailed from Quetta and killed in the ongoing spate of target killings.
Tension engulfed the surrounding areas of New Karachi including, Godhra Society, Nullah Stop, Sindhi hotel and others as all shops and market were closed down due to uncertain condition of locality.
A local businessman was gunned down while his female housemaid was injured when armed men attacked his car near Nagan Chowrangi in the limits of Sir Syed Police Station.
DSP Altaf Hussain said deceased Anwar Islam, 40, was resident of Peoples Chowrangi area, adding, that he accompanied by his female housemaid Fatima, 12, who was also wounded in the incident and her mother was going somewhere when the vehicle was attacked.
The officer said it seemed the incident occurred over personal enmity.
Separately in Frere police limits, one 30-year-old Faheemul Haq alias Moon, was gunned down near Punjab Colony. Police said the deceased lived in Gizri and had criminal record. He was recently released from jail.
Elsewhere, three bodies were found from separate parts of the City.
One Imran, 27, son of Muhammad Khan was found dead from Khajji ground in Rizvia police limits.
His hands and legs were tied with rope and also shot twice. Police said deceased was a resident of Pak Colony and worked as a salesman in local shopping Mall and had also torture marks on his body.
Police official said the victim was missing from Thursday night and early hours of Friday police found his body from Khajji ground where unidentified culprits threw his body.
The body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for legal formalities and later handed over to the heirs.
Two bullet-riddled and torture marks bodies of the two young men were found from Kalakot and Orangi Town.
The identities of victims yet to be ascertained and in both the incidents culprits kidnapped them from unknown places and then threw their bodies and ran away.
Law-enforcement agencies have detained and released nearly 70 suspected persons during overnight search operations in parts of metropolis.
The search operations were launched against the volatile law and order in parts of City.
The areas came under search operation included Old Sabzi Mandi, PIB Colony, Essa Nagri, Madina Colony, Orangi Town, Qasba Colony, Bukhari Colony, Gulfam abad, Kati Pahari and Aligarh Colony.
The actual number of apprehended suspects was not clear. Many houses were raided and searched as part of targeted action against the armed miscreants after the incidents of firing from houses were reported.(The Nation)

Monday, July 25, 2011

MURDER OF MUMTAZ BUKHARI ADVOCATE IS A VILE ATTEMPT TO PROVOKE SECTARIAN TENSION IN KARACHI: MQM

Co-ordination Committee of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has strongly condemned the murder of noted lawyer Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and termed the dreadful incident as an attempt to destroy peace of the city. The committee said that the enemies of peace were doggedly after the peace of the city and the murder of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate is also a vicious attempt to create sectarian tension in the city. The Co-ordination Committee extended its condolences to the bereaved family members of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and expressed sympathy and solidarity with the millat-e-jafriah. The committee demanded of the government to take notice of the killing of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and said that the killers should be arrested immediately. The committee also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul. The committee also appealed to millat-e-jafriah to defeat the wicked conspiracy to create disturbance in the city by showing patience and forbearance.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

KBA members boycott courts to protest NGO offices in jails

The legal fraternity boycotted court proceedings on a second consecutive day on Wednesday against what they said was the illegal establishment of offices of NGOs in prisons.
The Karachi Bar Association ahs threatened to boycott legal proceedings unless the offices of NGOs are removed from jail premises within one week.
“The boycott is part of the protest lodged by the KBA on Tuesday and will continue till our demands our accepted”, KBA General Secretary confirmed this while talking to The News.
Work at the city courts remained suspended and the lawyers did not attend proceedings. The judges remained in their chambers as even under-trial prisoners were also not brought in from the Central Prison.
There was a complete shutdown and the offices of stamp vendors and oath-commissioners were also closed, while he court premises wore a deserted look.
On Tuesday, the two offices of NGOs situated within the courts premises were removed by lawyers, which was also intimated to District and Sessions Judge (South) Hasan Feroze.
The offices were removed after the orders were passed onto both President KBA Mohammed Aqil and General Secretary Haider Imam Rizvi by Justice Maqbool Baqar on the phone, the KBA general secretary said.
The KBA has also chalked out a plan to stage a protest inside the jail if the NGOs’ offices situated within its premises are not removed.
However, inside sources disclosed that pressures had been exerted both on the judiciary and bar members to give up their demands for the removal of the NGO offices at both the city courts and jail premises.
When this correspondent contacted the KBA general secretary, he denied any move on the part of the chief justice of the Sindh High Court to rescind the order regarding the removal of the NGOs’ offices from the jail premises, stating that some elements were trying to sabotage the situation.
The boycott also continued in the Malir courts and UTPs were not brought from Landhi Jail
A joint press conference of the Sindh High court Bar Association, the Sindh Bar Council, the Karachi Bar Association and the Malir Bar Association would be held on Friday at KBA offices, where the future line of action would be finalised, said Haider. (The News)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Courts wear deserted look as lawyers observe strike

The premises of the city and Malir courts wore a deserted look and fear loomed large on Tuesday as recently, two advocates were gunned down, bringing the total to six this year.

The Karachi Bar Association has given a call for complete strike and boycott of courts proceedings in protest against the killing of a lawyer who was also a senior worker of the Pakistan People’s Party.

The lawyers are already in a state of protest since May due to killings of many lawyers in the current year and observing black days, boycott of courts proceedings, and strikes.

Zia Alam, a senior lawyer and a PPP activist of district West, was shot dead in North Nazimabad Monday evening.

The legal fraternity expressing their shock and anger, demanded of the government to pay Rs 3 million each to the deceaseds’ families and Rs1 million to the injured lawyers.

The demand was made at a general body meeting held at Shuhada-e-Punjab Hall in connection with the killing of Zia Alam.

Another general body meeting has been convened on June 18 in which all bar associations, including the Sindh Bar Council, media organisations and civil society will be invited and a joint strategy would be announced.

If all agree, then a sit-in might be staged either at Chief Minister’s House or the Governor’s House, as media people were also being targeted, said Haider Imam Rizvi, General Secretary, KBA. The date will be announced later.

The judges were present in their chambers but no trial was conducted as lawyers stayed away from the courts.

Only two to three prison vans transported under-trial prisoners from the Central Prison, Karachi, who also returned without any trial. The stamp vendors, oath commissioners and others also did not turn up. The usual hustle and bustle near the city court lock-up was also not seen.

A black flag was hoisted at the rooftop of the building and lawyers wore black armbands.

Alam was the second lawyer gunned down in the month of June. Earlier, a senior lawyer of the Sindh High Court (SHC), Kamal, was shot dead on June 1.

Alam was the fourth lawyer to be murdered in an act of target killing since May this year, said the KBA president. In the month of May, two lawyers — Altaf Abbasi and Nazar Abbasi, both brothers — were shot dead while they were on their way to the city courts. Alam was the sixth lawyer to be killed this year

Hanif Khan Advocate was assassinated in the month of March; Liaquat Qureishi was shot dead in the month of April; Altaf Abbasi and Nazar Abbasi, both brothers, were shot dead in the month of May; and Kamal, senior lawyer of the Sindh High Court, was murdered in June.

Meanwhile, legal proceedings remained suspended both at the Malir courts and City courts. (Shamim Bano-The News)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Countrywide protest against targeted killings of lawyers on May 23: Asma Jahangir

President of Supreme Court Bar Association Ms Asma Jahangir says on call of Pakistan Bar Council legal fraternity will observe countrywide black day and complete strike on May 23, 2011 to protest against growing targeted killings of members of legal fraternity.

Speaking at Meet the Press program at Karachi Press Club, she said all bar associations will observe black day, black flags hoisted, lawyers completely boycott courts proceedings and stage protest demonstrations. General body meetings will be held to chalk out future course of action.

She stated targeted killings of lawyers and citizens by criminals or law enforcers were on rise in all provinces. “The mechanism to protect human rights exists no where in country. People are begging for justice.” The incidents of lawyers kidnapping of lawyers has become routine and no action is being taken, rarely culprits are arrested, but they also go scot-free due to state machinery’s inefficiency, she stated.

She said growing VVIP security and protocol culture of rulers was big joke with country and its people, who were badly suffering due to deteriorating law, order situation.

SCBA President observed present democratic system had failed to deliver to masses according to their aspirations. “We waged struggle for strengthening democratic system and institutions.

But, merely conducting elections does not mean existence of a true democracy. Democracy means giving equal rights to every citizen, empowering vulnerable segments of society like minorities, women folk. Unfortunately present democratic system, which itself is facing uncertainty, has failed to deliver.”

Ms Asma expressed concern over functioning of judiciary, saying junior judges were being promoted, lawyers not considered for appointment as judges to high courts.

“We want people from all segments of society urban and rural to sit on benches. Progressive-minded people, who struggled for independence of judiciary, are ignored in process of appointing and evaluation of judges and lawyers.”

Ms Asma Jahangir said in recent meetings code of conduct of bar associations was also discussed and it needs improvement which must be brought about.

On proposed constitution of judiciary commission to probe Abbotabad operation, she said though integrity of proposed members suggested by PML-N was unquestionable, but another important things was setting terms and conditions of working of commission.(Frontier Post)

2 lawyers killed in Karachi

Four people, including two brothers, were killed amid the incidents of violence in Karachi on Saturday.

According to police, unidentified men shot at a car in Musharraf Colony that killed two brothers Nazir Abbas and Altaf Hussain. Police sent their dead bodies to Karachi Civil Hospital for autopsy. Both brothers were lawyers, killed in firing by unidentified gunmen.

Following the incident, the lawyers protested and boycotted routine activities in the City Courts. Police told the media that the slain brothers belonged to Chakwal and had been living in Karachi for last several years.

They had no enmity with anyone, told their brother. Slain lawyer Altaf Hussain was a former member of the Karachi Bar Association. The members of the Karachi Bar Association’s governing body protested and boycotted routine activities in the City Courts and demanded quick action against the killers.(Pakistan Observer)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Executive becomes unhappy with judiciary at times: CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said the executive does not feel happy at times that the judiciary works independently and justly, but the fair and impartial dispensation of justice is imperative for the country to march ahead on the path of economic growth, through establishing peace in society and ensuring the security of investment, commerce and trade.

Addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the Karachi Bar Association at the Sindh High Court lawns on Saturday, he said the judiciary could not be held responsible for delay in cases as enormous amount of pendency in courts and lack of cooperation of state institutions also caused delays. For this, he said these institutions reportedly accommodated influences and there were also complaints of nepotism and corruption.

“If revenue and police departments perform their functions according to the law, many problems could be resolved without approaching the courts,” he added. Chief Justice Iftikhar said any system other than of law and the Constitution would prove fatal and people would have to suffer its consequences for years to come.

“If judiciary exercises its power of judicial review, no body should feel threatened or aggrieved,” Chief Justice Iftikhar said. Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam, judges of the Supreme Court and the high court, and judicial officers also attended the oath-taking ceremony.

The chief justice observed that the judiciary was accountable under the Constitution as it derived its existence and powers from the Constitution. He said whenever the judiciary had supported the unconstitutional decisions, it created disorder and everybody had seen results of such constitutional deviations.

He said nobody should be given preferential treatment by the courts as all were equal before the law. “This principle is vital for the sustainability of the legal and judicial system,” he added.

The chief justice said the Supreme Court took up cases regarding missing of judicial officers and lawyers from Balochistan and their whereabouts would be traced without waste of time. He said 90 percent of cases were pending before the district judiciary while rest were pending before the superior judiciary, adding 3.1 million cases were decided in one year since the implementation of the National Judicial Policy in June 2009; however, 2.6 million new cases were registered during the said period.

He said the Constitution guaranteed inexpensive and expeditious justice and it was essential that all stakeholders cooperated, including judges, lawyers, litigants parties and court staff to improve the justice delivery system.

He said the National Judicial Policy was an important development toward the expeditious and inexpensive dispensation of the justice besides a comprehensive policy had been made to make the judges independent so that they should perform their duties without any personal or political influence.

In this regard, he said chief justices and judges of the superior judiciary had agreed not to accept any executive post no matter how high the post might be because the Constitution obliged the executive to separate the judiciary from it.

About problems being faced by the judiciary regarding lack of infrastructure and salaries of the judicial officers and staff, Chief Justice Iftikhar said the issue of disparity in the salaries of judicial officers was in the notice of the respective provincial governments, but no adequate steps had been taken by some to remove it.

He said it was expected that provincial governments would remove this disparity so that judicial officers should perform their duties with devotion and dedication after their pressing financial needs were met.

He also pointed out lack of vacant posts in subordinate judiciary and said that until number of judges were increased, the objective of access to justice at doorstep and quick dispensation of the justice could not be achieved.

About backlog of the cases, he said this issue was not new and since long it had remained a problem of great concern. He said a lot of efforts had gone into the process of removing the complexities of procedure being adopted for disposal of cases.

However, he said undue advantage had been taken of these technical and procedural complexities of the judicial system, but such legal principles and procedures were meant to prevent the miscarriage of justice and guard against unfair dispensation of the justice.

The chief justice said he was aware of the expectations of the public from the judiciary and the courts were striving hard to dispense justice with the responsibility, entrusted by the law and the constitution. Karachi Bar Association President Mohammad Aqil and Secretary Haider Imam Rizvi also spoke on the occasion.(The News)

Friday, March 4, 2011

KBA: Oath taking Ceremony to be held on Saturday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry administer the oath

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will administer the oath for the newly elected members of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) at the Sindh High Court lawn on Saturday, announced KBA president Advocate Muhammad Aqil at a press conference on Thursday.
Aqil said that all lower and high court judges have been invited to the ceremony along with representatives of all 33 Sindh bars and seven members of the Pakistan Bar Association. KBA general secretary Syed Haider Imam Rizvi said that a committee of the chief of police, DG Rangers, DIG Special branch and the high court registrar will be in charge of security. The ceremony will be kept short as a result of security concerns and other reasons, he added.
“We want to strengthen the unity among us, provide stability to freedom of judiciary, maintain the freedom and give it more strength,” said Aqil. He also thanked the SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam for allowing the ceremony to be held at the high court and encouraging them.
Speaking of violence against lawyers, Aqil said that the KBA condemns the kidnapping of judges and lawyers in Balochistan and demands the government immediately rescue them. He also spoke of an Islamabad-based lawyer who was beaten up by members of the media.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2011.