'Wakeel Card' Disgracing Nobility Of Legal Pakistan, Practice Must Cease-and-desist
Umer Jamshaid 27 days ago Sat 20th March 2021 | 04:16 PM
The legal profession is considered as a noble walk of life due to high moral standards possessed and practiced by advocates around the globe. But unfortunately in Pakistan, these attributes are swiftly fizzling out
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Mar, 2021 ) :The legal profession is considered as a noble walk of life due to high moral standards possessed and practiced by advocates around the globe. But unfortunately in Pakistan, these attributes are swiftly fizzling out. The legal fraternity is losing the respect it earned in the Movement to Restore the Judiciary in 2007.
The lawyers' February 8 vandalism on Islamabad High Court in reaction to the civic body's anti-encroachment drive against their illegal chambers is yet another stain that has further disgraced the fraternity.
The Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Athar Minallah, who remained confined for three hours in his chamber due to lawyers' rowdyism, termed the incident as an attack on judiciary. The IHC in its verdict on the issue later on directed stern action against these hooligans and asked the civic authority to demolish their illegally constructed chambers .The apex court also maintained the IHC's decision and said the lawyers' this gracious act has ashamed the whole legal fraternity. And it also directed to the authorities concerned to deal with the culpable strictly. It helped restored public confidence over judiciary especially traders' and owners' of the commercial properties wherein these unauthorized chambers were erected.
In addition to the attack on the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, people have seen district judges being harassed, skies being lit up with gunfire, police officers being threatened and the 'wakeel�card'�being played by lawyers throughout Pakistan, as and when required.
The Former Deputy Attorney General and President Islamabad High Court Bar Association Nayyab Hassan, stated: "for young lawyers, members of the bar councils are supposed to be role models with spotless careers". He further stressed on the "constitution of a judicial committee responsible for issuing eligibility certificates conscientiously to those anticipating an election run." Young lawyers are expected to absorb the ethics of the profession from their senior lawyers. However, the use of the�'wakeel�card' is what they mainly learn during their intimation period. They are taught how to gang up on not only police officers, as seen in the Margalla Police station episode in Islamabad, but also the judiciary, as witnessed in the recent Islamabad High Court ambush and district courts of Karachi and parts of Punjab in recent past.
And in addition how to occupy a football ground to erect chambers, exploiting civic body and local administration's inability to confront and challenge them for this illegal move.
Former High Court Judge and Law Minister, Dr Khalid Ranjha, while highlighting the lack of impartiality in Pakistan's judicial system, said: "Personal bias often present in our judicial appointments, damages the transparency that a judicial system should possess." The appointment of judges should not only entirely be on merit but seen to be on merit, as it is the court in which the public is to place its trust.
"There is one more established notion that the lawyers groups having affiliation with different political parties are maneuvered for some vested interests by these parties when they are in opposition for political gains," said Hassan Nawaz a senior practicing lawyer of the High Court. This profession must be above all these negativities to establish justice in a society, he added.
Lawyers using the 'wakeel card' threaten their disputants with never-ending lawsuits; such activities by the practitioners puncture the fabric of legal nobility. Use of the 'wakeel card' should be made punishable by a fine, temporary suspension of practicing licence, or even disbarment depending on the severity of the offence, as in the United Kingdom.
A Bar Council is considered as the mother of all lawyers registered under it. A mother loves but also regulates to bring about the best version of her children. Sadly, the regulatory role of the bar councils seems to be disappearing in Pakistan.
The regulators, anticipating their next election run, show more concern towards being re-elected than preserving the nobility of the profession. Therefore, a single term limit should be introduced for membership of a Bar Council. If executed, members would not contemplate a second election campaign and might be able to regulate with impartiality.
The absence of ethical training prior to the issuance of the licence to practice law, silent role of the respective bar councils concerning such cases and non-practising lawyers' no concern towards preserving legal nobility are major issues to be addressed henceforth.
In a nutshell it's a public voice now that "wakeel card is disgracing nobility of legal Pakistan and this practice must cease-and-desist for the integrity of the entire legal fraternity."/778