Punjab Bar Council, Lahore High Court Bar Association issue statements supporting lawyers who rioted and vandalized court following demolition of illegally constructed buildings
The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday issued contempt of court notices to 17 lawyers who were part of a mob earlier this week that vandalized the court premises and held the chief justice hostage in his chambers.
A spokesperson for the court confirmed the contempt of court proceedings, adding that the Islamabad High Court had also sent a reference to the Islamabad Bar Council to suspend the licenses of lawyers involved in the riot. They also stressed that the court had resumed normal operations after cancelling the cause lists on Monday in light of the legal fraternity’s demonstration.
On Monday, lawyers in Islamabad rioted against the Capital Development Authority’s demolition of allegedly illegally constructed chambers at the Islamabad judicial complex. The lawyers vandalized the Islamabad High Court and chanted slogans outside the chief justice’s office, holding him virtually hostage in his chambers.
Police registered a case against around 300 lawyers, naming 22 in the FIR under various provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Terrorism Act.
On Tuesday, the Punjab Bar Council and Lahore High Court Bar Association joined the Supreme Court Bar Association in issuing statements supporting the rioting lawyers in Islamabad. The two bodies said the chambers of the lawyers bulldozed in Islamabad had been built five years ago, and demanded the government reconstruct the demolished chambers and take action against CDA officials involved in the “illegal” operation. They also demanded withdrawal of FIRs registered against the lawyers and the removal of Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat. The lawyers also threatened to hold protests across Punjab if their demands were not met.