PTI symbol verdict: top lawyers’ forums come out in defence of Supreme Court

Lawyers' forums

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association came out in defence of the Supreme Court after it decided against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the election symbol case.

The lawyers’ leaders said that the powers that brought PTI also sent it back. If there is any legal flaw in the decision, please tell them. Now decisions are being made according to the constitution and law. They said that after the verdict, a malicious campaign has been started against judges, which needs to be stopped. They also demanded action against the involved elements.

Pakistan Bar Council Vice-Chairman Haroon Rashid and Supreme Court Bar Association President Shahzad Shaukat held a press conference on the current situation in the country.

Haroon Rashid said that PTI’s electoral symbol ‘bat’ was taken back from them in the related case. “Democracy has always been suppressed by dictatorship in Pakistan, and the powers that brought PTI to power also took it back. If there are any shortcomings in the Supreme Court’s decision, it can be discussed. Why is there objection when the Supreme Court has given the decision according to the constitution and law? PTI has always weakened the institutions,” he said.

Haroon Rashid said that some senior lawyers and PTI leaders are criticizing the judges. “The PTI did not hold intra-party elections, which resulted in action against them. The PTI held intra-party elections in an anonymous village. Lawyers and PTI workers are requested not to criticize the judges unnecessarily. The PTI’s founder was not democratic, so he was sent home through a no-confidence vote. If there is any legal flaw in the Supreme Court’s decision, tell us,” he said.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Shahzad Shaukat said that a baseless campaign is being run against the judges on social media. “All steps will be taken to stop the trend against the judges. The PTI has a habit of attacking the judges personally whenever the decision goes against them. We, lawyers, stand with the judges. A malicious campaign against judges has started in the country. Instead of criticizing the decisions, the judges are being targeted. They want to make everyone believe that the Supreme Court Bar and Pakistan Bar, along with the lawyers, will not tolerate criticism of the judges,” he said.

Shahzad Shaukat further said that the practice of targeting the judges should stop. “They will make every possible effort to end the tradition of targeting the judges. The media watchdogs should take steps to stop the criticism of the judges. Now it is written in the decision that if they did not hold intra-party elections, they should have done so,” he said.

Pakistan Bar Council Chairman Executive Committee, Hassan Raza Pasha said that when a person is declared innocent by the court, trolling starts from one group. Until a crime is proven against someone, he is innocent in the eyes of the law. The crime has not been proven in the cipher case yet, so it was said that the Supreme Court is declaring him innocent.

He said that PTI’s lawyers were not prepared in the nine-hour hearing. “When asked where the elections were held, they mentioned the village of Chamkani. When filing a constitutional petition in the high court, they did not mention the cases pending in the Lahore High Court. If the petition is pending in one high court, it should not be file in another court. What do the courts do? PTI has the right to file a review against the decision,” he said.

JIT formed to probe malicious campaign against SC judges

He said that the lawyers strongly condemn the campaign against Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa. He said that the PTA and FIA should not be silent spectators against those who are running a campaign against the chief justice. The Supreme Court should take action for contempt of court against those who are criticizing the court by taking its name, he said.

Supreme Court Bar Association former president  Syed Qalb Hassan said that whatever decisions are being made, the whole world is watching live. “Now decisions are not being made in the chambers. The campaign against the judges should stop now.”

He said that when the reference came against Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the bar councils were standing by him. “The bar councils were standing in the right direction before, and time will prove that they are standing in the right direction,” he said.

When a journalist asked if there is military interference in the current electoral process?

In response to the question, Hassan Raza Pasha said, “In which elections did the army not interfere? The army interfered in the 2018, 2013, and even the 1971 elections. When the prime minister is made, he is made with 176 votes. But when the army chief has to be given an extension, 342 votes are cast.

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