Food For Thought For Bar Associations Representing The Lawyers’ Community

Food For Thought For Bar Associations Representing The Lawyers’ Community

The Bar Councils and Bar Associations in Pakistan represent the lawyers’ community. The lawyers are considered as ‘Officers of Court’. The lawyers should be credited for their efforts for upholding the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (“Constitution of Pakistan”) and serving for the protection and preservation of the rule of law. They are the ones who have actually restored democracy and have strived hard with patriotic ambitions throughout the history of Pakistan. They are without any shadow of a doubt, an important pillar of Pakistan, without which neither democracy is protected nor can the nation flourish.

Since a long period of time the lawyers’ community has been reminding the Government of Pakistan and the Government of the Provinces (“Government”) to consider them as an important pillar of State. They are the professional legal force created by the law and should be protected by the Constitution of Pakistan. They, their Bar Councils and Bar Associations are recognized throughout the world. However, in Pakistan, they and their Bar Councils and Bar Associations should not strive in a miserable condition, without any Constitutional protection and without regular annual funding by the government. The government has neither considered their importance as an important pillar of State nor have made any permanent policy for their regular annual funding. This has resulted in the transformation of these organizations into begging organizations. Resultantly their focus of consideration has shifted with the passage of time to unimportant and petty things. Had the government recognized their importance and given credibility and protection to their actions, had the government made a permanent policy for their ‘Regular Annual Funding’ and had the government considered them as an important organ of the State which would be constitutionally protected, their performance would have been much better and the lawyers’ community would have really emerged as a ‘Cream of the Nation’.

These organizations representing the lawyers’ community of Pakistan should be regularly annually funded by the Provincial and Federal Governments.

 

Keeping in view the above-mentioned need of the hour, I hereby, present my two tier humble recommendations, one for ‘Short Term Objectives’ and the other for ‘Permanent and Long Term Objectives’ as a ‘food for thought’ for Bar Associations representing the lawyers’ community.

If the Bar Associations made a step forward in accordance with these suggestions, these can be converted into final recommendations and can be sent to the honorable Chairman Senate to convert them into a Private Member’s Bill, thus an amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan and in other relevant laws of the land could be sought and new government policy by would be requested to be framed.

The lawyers’ community in Pakistan is licensed by Bar Councils and its members are the members of different Bar Associations, thus they actually work under their umbrella.

Following are the Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan with respective laws governing them. In accordance with these laws, the Bar Associations in Pakistan have framed their own constitutions as well, which regulate their internal governance:

Bar Councils of Pakistan:

  1. Pakistan Bar Council.
  2. Islamabad Bar Council,
  3. Punjab Bar Council,
  4. Sindh Bar Council,
  5. Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Bar Council and
  6. Baluchistan Bar Council.

Bar Associations of Pakistan:

  1. Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
  2. Islamabad High Court Bar Association.
  3. Lahore High Court Bar Associations at Lahore, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur and Multan.
  4. Sindh High Court Bar Associations at Karachi and Sakhar.
  5. Peshawar High Court Bar Associations at Peshawar, Abbotabad, D.I.Khan, and Mingora Swat
  6. Baluchistan High Court Bar Associations at Quetta and Sibbi.
  7. District Bar Associations of Provinces.
  8. Tehsil Bar Associations of Provinces.

Relevant Laws:

  1. The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973
  2. The Pakistan Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Rules, 1976

 

SHORT TERM OBJECTIVE:

The expenditures by the provincial governments are made from the Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account. Article 118 of the Constitution of Pakistan reads as follows:

 

“Article 118. Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account.-(1) All revenues received by the Provincial Government, all loans raised by that Government, and all moneys received by it in `repayment of any loan, shall form part of a consolidated fund, to be known as the Provincial Consolidated Fund.

(2) All other moneys-

(a) received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government; or

(b) received by or deposited with the High Court or any other Court established under the authority of the Province; shall be credited to the Public Account of the Province.” [Emphasis added.]

 

Article 119: Custody, etc of Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account: The custody of Provincial Consolidated Fund, the payment of moneys into that Fund, the withdrawal of moneys therefrom, the custody of other moneys received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government, their payment into, and withdrawal from, the Public Account of the Province, and all matters connected with or ancillary to the matters aforesaid, shall be regulated by the Act of the Provincial Assembly or until provision in that behalf is so made, by rules made by the Governor.”[Emphasis added.]

 

Article 120: Annual Budget Statement: (1) The Provincial Government shall, in respect of every financial year, cause to be laid before the Provincial Assembly statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Provincial Government for this year, in this Chapter referred to as the Annual Budget Statement.

(2) The Annual Budget Statement shall show separately——

(a) the sums required to meet expenditure described by the constitution as expenditure charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund; and

(b) the sums required to meet other expenditure proposed to be made from the Provincial Consolidated Fund;

and shall distinguish expenditure on revenue account from other expenditure.”

 

Thus yearly Finance Acts and Budget are passed. To this date, the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies have passed their Budgets annually. Now there are two options, either to request the government to pass Supplementary Budget for giving funds to the organizations representing the lawyers’ community or to request the government to arrange a special grant from wherever the government chooses fit.

 

Article 124 of Constitution of Pakistan is reproduced below:

“124. Supplementary and excess grant.-If in respect of any financial year it is found-

(a) that the amount authorized to be expended for a particular service for the current financial year is insufficient, or that a need has arisen for expenditure upon some new service not included in the Annual Budget Statement for that year ; or

(b) that any money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted for that service for that year ;

the Provincial Government shall have power to authorize expenditure from the Provincial Consolidated Fund, whether the expenditure is charged by the Constitution upon that Fund or not, and shall cause to be laid before the Provincial Assembly a Supplementary Budget Statement or, as the case may be, an Excess Budget Statement, setting out the amount of that expenditure, and the provisions of Article 120 to 123 shall apply to those statements as they apply to the Annual Budget Statement.”

If needed, under Article 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan, a Supplementary Budget Statement or Excess Budget Statement can also be passed by the Provincial Assembly.

In the current financial year the requirement of a special fund or grant for fulfilling the current needs of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan is a ‘need’ indeed in the true sense of word.

Although over Rupees 1.3 Billion have been allocated in Federal Budget of 2015 for projects related to law and justice, yet the Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan have been totally ignored. The funds and grants should be released for the Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan in the current financial year as well.

 

Last but not the least Article 164 of the Constitution of Pakistan reads as follows:

“164. Grants out of Consolidated Fund.-The Federation or a Province may make grants for any purpose, notwithstanding that the purpose is not one with respect to which Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or, as the case may be, a Provincial Assembly may make laws.” [Emphasis added.]

It seems from the wordings of this Article that it is the sweet will and discretion of the government to make grants or release funds for any purpose.

Therefore, the government should be asked to exercise their will and discretion under Article 164 of Constitution of Pakistan for the benefit of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan and provide grants to meet their economic needs.

 

PERMANENT SOLUTION:

For a more permanent solution I suggest the following:

(a).       Amendments in the Constitution of Pakistan,

(b).       Pre-Budget Preparations including the financial needs of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan in Annual Budget, and

(c).       Amendments in different laws of the land.

 

(a).      AMENDMENTS IN THE CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN:

The existing Articles 118, 119, 120, 121, 150 and 208 are relevant Articles of the Constitution of Pakistan, which are reproduced below with specific emphasis given where needed:

 

“Article 118. Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account.-(1) All revenues received by the Provincial Government, all loans raised by that Government, and all moneys received by it in repayment of any loan, shall form part of a consolidated fund, to be known as the Provincial Consolidated Fund.

(2) All other moneys-

(a) received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government; or

(b) received by or deposited with the High Court or any other Court established under the authority of the Province; shall be credited to the Public Account of the Province.” [Emphasis added.]

 

Article 119: Custody, etc of Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account: The custody of Provincial Consolidated Fund, the payment of moneys into that Fund, the withdrawal of moneys therefrom, the custody of other moneys received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government, their payment into, and withdrawal from, the Public Account of the Province, and all matters connected with or ancillary to the matters aforesaid, shall be regulated by the Act of the Provincial Assembly or until provision in that behalf is so made, by rules made by the Governor.”[Emphasis added.]

 

Article 120: Annual Budget Statement: (1) The Provincial Government shall, in respect of every financial year, cause to be laid before the Provincial Assembly statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Provincial Government for this year, in this Chapter referred to as the Annual Budget Statement.

(2) The Annual Budget Statement shall show separately——

(a) the sums required to meet expenditure described by the constitution as expenditure charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund; and

(b) the sums required to meet other expenditure proposed to be made from the Provincial Consolidated Fund;

and shall distinguish expenditure on revenue account from other expenditure.”

 

“121. Expenditure charged upon Provincial Consolidated Fund.– The following expenditure shall be expenditure charged upon the Provincial Consolidated Fund: –

(a) the remuneration payable to the Governor and other expenditure relating to his office, and the remuneration payable to–

(i) the Judges of the High Court; and

(ii) the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Assembly ;

(b) the administrative expenses, including the remuneration payable to officers and servants, of the High Court and the Secretariat of the Provincial Assembly ;

(c) all debt charges for which the Provincial Government is liable, including interest, sinking fund charges, the repayment or amortisation of capital, and other expenditure in connection with the raising of loans, and the service and redemption of debt on the security of the Provincial Consolidated Fund;

(d) any sums required to satisfy any judgement, decree or award against the Province by any Court or Tribunal ; and

(e) any other sums declared by the Constitution or by Act of the Provincial Assembly to be so charged.”

 

“Article 150 : Full faith and credit for public acts, etc.:-Full faith and credit shall be given throughout Pakistan to Public acts and records, and judicial proceedings of every Province.”

 

“208. Officers and servants of Courts.-The Supreme Court and the Federal Shariat Court, with the approval of the President and a High Court, with the approval of the Governor concerned, may make rules providing for the appointment by the Court of officers and servants of the Court and for their terms and conditions of employment.”

 

I propose the following Amendments:

  • After Article 121(d) the following Sub-Article should be added:

(dd) any sums required to satisfy the expenses of Pakistan Bar Council, Provincial Bar Councils, Supreme Court Bar Association, High Court Bar Associations, and District and Tehsil Bar Associations of Pakistan.”

  • In Article 150 after the full stop, the following words should be added:

“And all the lawful acts and deeds of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan serving the national interest shall be given due respect and their economic needs shall be safeguarded at all levels and at every cost.”

  • In Article 208 of the Constitution of Pakistan before the beginning words ‘The Supreme Court–’ add number ‘(1)’. And after the full stop add a new paragraph numbered as ‘(2)’ in the following words:

(2). The Supreme Court and the Provincial High Courts shall provide annual funds for running the day to day affairs of their respective Supreme Court and High Court Bar Associations.”

  • In Chapter No.4, General Provisions relating to the Judicature, after Article 212 B add new Article 212 C in the following words:

Article 212 C: The Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan: The Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan serving national interest shall be given due respect and representation in national interest and policy making and their economic needs shall be safeguarded at all levels and at every cost.”

 

(b).      PRE-BUDGET PREPARATIONS INCLUDING THE FINANCIAL NEEDS OF BAR COUNCILS AND BAR ASSOCIATIONS OF PAKISTAN IN ANNUAL BUDGET:

Article 120, 121 and 124 of the Constitution of Pakistan are relevant.

 

Following is the step-wise Budget-making process in National and Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan:

The Budget Process has following phases[1]:

Phase I: Preparation of the Budget:

  1. Between September and November a Budget Call Letter is issued by the Finance Division.
  2. Consolidated Revenue and Expenditure Estimates are prepared and submitted to the heads of Divisions/Departments at federal and provincial levels.
  3. After review these estimates are submitted to the Finance Department.
  4. The Finance Division/Department after collecting and compiling the budget of all agencies and departments prepares a Draft Budget, which is submitted to the Cabinet for clearance to submit the Budget before the legislature.

Phase II: Consideration, Debate and Approval of the Budget:

  1. The Budget is presented to respective Assemblies.
  2. The Budget is presented as a Finance Bill to Parliament.
  3. It is debated and approved, sometimes with amendments.
  4. Members bring up motions to create and occasion for discussing the performance of various Public Sector Organizations.
  5. Upon approval of the Budget and assent of the President it becomes Finance Act.
  6. Then the Prime Minister signs the schedule of expenditures.

Phase III: Communication of Grants:

The approved Budget is communicated to each head of the office/drawing and drawing disbursing officer and controlling officers. The heads of department are then allowed to incur expenditure.[2]

Phase IV: Execution of Budget:

During this phase the expenditure is incurred according to the list of authorized expenditures.[3]

Phase V: Post Budget Allocations:

The Federal and Provincial Governments have the power to authorize expenditure in excess of approvals through re-appropriation in cases requiring such an extra-ordinary measure or seek supplementary budget grants from the Federal/Provincial Consolidated Funds. The Supplementary/Excess Budget Statements have to be laid before the Assembly for approval with the next year’s Budget.[4]

Phase VI: Post Audit:

The Auditor General of Pakistan carries out audit of accounts on behalf of Parliament and Assembly and presents the reports to respective houses. Each house has an Accounts Committee to review the reports and consider if the public money has been spent in accordance with the legislative approval.[5]

For knowing further technical aspects of the Budget Process see: http://www.finance.gov.pk/process.html

The purpose of mentioning the budget process to lawyers is to understand as a lawyer how the Budget is prepared and at what phase the lawyers’ community through its organizations should raise its voice for obtaining regular annual funding through allocation in the Annual Federal and Provincial Budget.

Role of Planning Commission of Pakistan:

The Planning Commission of Pakistan (“Planning Commission”) has a major role in planning five-year plans for the national economy. The Public Sector Development Program (“PSDP”) has also an important role and the PSDP is placed under the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission overviews the Annual Budget.[6]

The Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission should be asked to consider the importance and economic needs of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan and make a permanent policy for regular annual funding of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan.

Role of Finance Ministers of Pakistan:

The Finance Ministers have major role in Annual Budget making Process.

The Finance Ministers should be asked to not only fulfill the current financial demands of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan but also to consider on permanent basis the importance and economic needs of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan and make a permanent policy for regular annual funding of Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan through Annual Budgets.

 

(c).      PROPOSED AMENDMENTS IN DIFFERENT LAWS OF THE LAND:

Keeping in view the financial and economic needs of organizations representing the lawyers’ community, the following laws need amendments:

(i).        The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973,

(ii).       The Pakistan Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Rules, 1976,

(iii).      The Stamp Act, 1899,

(iv).      The Court Fees Act, 1870,

(v).       The Registration Act, 1908,

(vi).      The Finance Act, 2015.

Furthermore, there is dire need for making Rules of Provincial Bar Councils for regular funding and for providing grants to the Bar Associations of respective Provinces.

 

(i).       PROPOSED AMENDMENTS IN THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AND BAR COUNCILS ACT, 1973:

Sections 9, 13, 17, 55, 56 and 57 need amendments.

 

Section 9 reads as follows:

“9. Function of Provincial Bar Council._ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, the functions of a Provincial Bar Council shall be-

(a) to admit persons as advocates on its roll; to hold examinations for purposes of admission; to prepare and maintain a roll of such advocates 18[of the province as well as of each District]; and to remove advocates from such roll;

(b) to admit persons as advocates entitled to practice before the High Court and to prepare and maintain a roll of such advocates;

(c) to entertain and determine cases of misconduct against advocates on its rolls and to order punishment in such cases;

(d) to safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of advocates on its rolls, including initiation of measures for fair and in-expensive dispensation of justice by the subordinate Courts and tribunals;

(e) to promote and suggest law reform;

(f) to manage and administer the property and funds of the Provincial Bar Council and to invest any of its funds;

(g) to conduct the election of its members;

(h) to prescribe conditions for the recognition and functioning of, and to recognise and derecognize, Bar Associations;

(i) to perform all other functions conferred on it by or under this Act and to comply with directions given to it by the Pakistan Bar Council from time to time; and

(j) to do all other things necessary for discharging the aforesaid functions.

After Sub-Section (h) to Section 9 add the following new Sub-Section:

“(hh). to make Rules and Permanent Policy for Regular Annual Funding of all Bar Associations of the Province;”

 

Section 13 reads as follows:

“13. Functions of the Pakistan Bar Council.- Subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, the functions of the Pakistan Bar Council shall be-

(a) to prepare and maintain a common roll of advocates;

(b) to admit persons as advocates entitled to practice before the Supreme Court and to prepare and maintain a roll of such advocates and to remove advocates from such roll;

(c) to entertain and determine cases of misconduct against advocates of the Supreme Court and to award punishment in such cases;

(d) to lay down standard of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates;

(e) to lay down the procedure to be followed by its committees;

(f) to safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of advocates including initiation of measures for fair and inexpensive dispensation of justice by the subordinate Courts and tribunals;

(h) to deal with and dispose of, and to tender advice in relation to any matter arising under this Act which may be referred to it by a Provincial Bar Council.

(i) to exercise general control and supervision over the Provincial Bar Councils and to  issue directions to them from time to time.

(j) to promote legal education and prescribe standards of such education in consultation with the universities in Pakistan and the Provincial Bar Councils;

(k) to recognize universities whose degree in law shall be a qualification for enrolment as an advocate;

(l) to manage and administer the property and funds of the Pakistan Bar Council, and to invest any of its funds;

(la) to provide free legal aid;

(lb) to hold conferences, seminars, moots, lectures, jurist conferences and other meetings for promoting legal knowledge and learning in the legal profession;

(lc) to prescribe conditions for the recognition and functioning of, and to recognise and derecognise, the Supreme Court Bar Association or any Bar Association at the national level;

(ld) to give directions in accordance with the provisions of this Act to the Provincial Bar Councils in respect of the recognition, derecognition and functioning of Bar Association;

(m) to perform all other functions conferred on it by or under this Act;

(n) to do all other things necessary for discharging the aforesaid functions.

(2) Any person aggrieved by an order or decision of a Provincial Bar Council, the Supreme Court Bar Association or a Bar Association at he national level may, within thirty days of such order or decision, prefer an appeal to the Pakistan Bar Council, whose decision in such appeal shall be final.

(3) The provisions of sections 5 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1908 (IX 1908), shall apply to appeals under sub-section (2).

After Clause (ld) to Sub-Section (1) to Section 13 add the following new Clause:

“(le).  to make Rules and Permanent Policy for Regular Annual Funding of the Provincial Bar Councils, Supreme Court Bar Association, High Court Bar Associations and all other Bar Associations of Pakistan;”

 

Section 17 reads as follows:

“17. Funds of Bar Councils.—(1) All sums received by a Provincial Bar Council and Islamabad Bar Council as enrolment fees or as grants, donations or subscriptions shall form part of the fund of that Council and that fund, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), shall be managed, administered and utilized in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) Every person applying for enrolment as an advocate or an advocate of the High Court shall pay one-third of the prescribed fee to the Pakistan Bar Council and the balance to the Provincial Bar Council and Islamabad Bar Council concerned or Islamabad Bar Council, as the case may be, in such manner as may be prescribed by the Pakistan Bar Council.

(3) All sums received by the Pakistan Bar Council under sub-section (2) or as enrolment fees, grants, donations or subscriptions shall form part of the fund of that Council and that fund shall be managed, administered and utilized in such manner as may be prescribed.” [Emphasis added.]

If proposed amendments are made in Section 9 and Section 13 and sub-ordinate legislation in the form of rules for the distribution of funds and grants to all Bar Associations are made then the purpose of the words ‘as prescribed’ mentioned in Section 17 above will be fulfilled and there will be no need of amendment in this Section.

 

Section 55 reads as follows:

“55. Power of Pakistan Bar Council to make rules.–The Pakistan Bar Council may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules to provide for-

(a) the manner in which the election of members of a Bar Council shall be held and the manner in which results of election shall be published;

(b) the manner in which the election of the Vice-Chairman of a Bar Council shall be held;

(c) the manner in which and the authority by which doubts and disputes as to the validity of an election to a Bar Council or to the office of the Vice-Chairman of a Bar Council shall be finally decided;

(d) the .powers and duties of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Bar Councils;

(e) the summoning and holding of meetings of the Pakistan Bar Council, the times and places where such meetings are to be held, the conduct of business thereat and the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum;

(f) the constitution and functions of any Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council and the term of office of the members of any such Committee;

(g) the summoning and holding of meetings of such Committee, the conduct of business thereat and the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum;

(h) the qualifications and terms and conditions of service of staff to be employed by the Pakistan Bar Council;

(i) matters pertaining to management, administration, utilization and investment of the fund of the Pakistan Bar Council;

(j) the constitution of separate funds for special purposes by the Pakistan Bar Council;

(k) the maintenance of books of accounts and other books by the Pakistan Bar Council;

(I) the appointment of auditors and the audit of the accounts of the Pakistan Bar Council;

(m) the form and manner in which applications for admission as an advocate of the Supreme Court are to be made and the manner in which such applications are to be disposed of;

(n) the fee payable for .enrolment or in respect of any other matter under this Act, and the instalments, if any, in which such fee may be paid;

(o) the forms in which a certificate of enrolment shall be given to a person enrolled as an advocate or an advocate of the High Court or an advocate of the Supreme Court;

(p) the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be observed by advocates;

(q) the standards of legal education to be observed by universities in Pakistan and the inspection of universities for that purpose;

(r) the circumstances in which and the conditions subject to which nationals of any foreign country may be admitted as advocates and foreign qualifications may be recognised for purposes of their admission;

(s) the procedure to be followed by Tribunals constituted by the Pakistan Bar Council in inquiries relating to the conduct of an advocate;

(t) the general principles for guidance of the Provincial Bar Councils;

(u) the forming, recognition, derecognition and functioning of a Supreme Court Bar Association or any Bar Association at the national level:

Provided that no rules made with reference to clause (r) shall have effect unless they have been approved by the Federal Government:

Provided further that, for holding the first elections to the Bar Councils to be constituted under this Act, rules with reference to clauses (a), (b) and (c) shall be made by the Federal Government and notified in the official Gazette.

After Sub-Section ‘( j )’ add the following new Sub-Section ‘( jj )’ :

“ ( jj ).  the making of permanent policy for Regular Annual Funding of all Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan;”

 

Section 56 reads as follows:

56. Power of Provincial Bar Council to make rules.– Provincial Bar Council may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules to provide for-

(a) the summoning and holding of meetings of the Bar Council, the times and places where such meetings are to be held, the conduct of business thereat and the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum;

(b) the constitution and functions of any Committee of the Bar Council and the term of office of the members of any such Committee;

(c) the summoning and holding of meetings of the Committees of the Bar Council, the conduct of business thereat and the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum;

(d) qualifications and terms and conditions of service of staff to be employed by the Bar Council;

(e) the matters pertaining to management, administration, utilization and investment of the fund of the Bar Council;

(f) the constitution of separate funds for special purposes by the Bar Council;

(g) the maintenance of books of accounts and other books by the Bar Council;

(h) the appointment of auditors and the audit of the accounts of the Bar Council;

(i) the course of practical training in law and the examination to be passed after such training for admission as an advocate;

(j) the form and manner in which applications for admission as an advocate or an advocate of the High Court are to be made and the manner in which such applications are to be disposed of;

(k) the conditions subject to which a person may be admitted as an advocate or an advocate or an advocate of the High Court;

(l) the procedure to be followed by a Tribunal constituted by the Bar Council in inquiries relating to the conduct of an advocate;

(m) the forming and regulation of firms of lawyers either throughout the Province or any specified part thereof;

(ma) the forming and regulation of firms of lawyers in Islamabad Capital Territory;

(n) the recognition, derecognition and functioning of Bar Associations.

 After Sub-Section ‘( n )’ add the following new Sub-Section ‘( o )’:

“( o ).” the making of permanent policy for Regular Annual Funding of all Bar Associations of Pakistan;”

 

Section 57 reads as follows:

“57. Grants to Bar Councils.–The Federal Government, in the case of Pakistan Bar Council, and the Provincial Government, in the case of a Provincial Bar Council, may make such grants in aid of the funds of the Bar Council as it may deem fit, having regard to the total number of advocates on the roll of the Council.”

In Section 57 remove the ‘full stop’ at the end and add a ‘Comma’ and the following words:

“which grant shall also be forwarded to the Bar Associations of Pakistan.”

 

(ii).      PROPOSED AMENDMENTS IN THE PAKISTAN LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AND BAR COUNCILS RULES, 1976:

Relevant Rules to be amended are 110, 129, 130, 133, 175-C and 175-D.

  • In Sub-Rule (c) to Rule 110 after the ‘full stop’ add the following:

“The Annual Fee to be deposited before the Provincial High Court Bar Association of which he is a member shall be Rs.______/-.”

(Please deliberate the amount of fee.)

  • In Sub-Rule (d) to Rule 110 after the ‘full stop’ add the following:

“The Annual Fee to be deposited before the Supreme Court Bar Association of which he is a member shall be Rs.______/-.”

(Please deliberate the amount of fee.)

  • In Rule 129 add new Sub-Rule ‘(e)’ in the following words:

“(e) The Bar Council may constitute a separate fund for Bar Associations of Pakistan which shall be administered and regulated in such a manner as the Bar Council may specify.”

  • In Rule 130 add new sub para in the following words:

Fourthly, making a grant to the Provincial High Court Bar Associations and District and Tehsil Bar Associations.”

  • In Rule 133 add a new Sub-Rule ‘(d)’ in the following words:

“While making Annual Budget Statement or Supplementary Budget regard must be had to the financial needs of Supreme Court Bar Association, Provincial High Court Bar Associations and District Bar Associations and Tehsil Bar Associations.”

  • Sub-Rule (3) to Rule 175-C should be amended in the following words:

“(3). The Provincial Bar Councils shall make Rules regarding recognition/de-recognition, functioning and financing of Bar Associations at High Court, District and sub-divisional/Tehsil level.”

  • Rule 175-D should be amended in the following words:

“175-D. The Pakistan Bar Council being controlling and supervisory body shall frame rules for recognition/de-recognition, functioning and financing of the Supreme Court Bar Association.”

 

(iii, iv, v).  SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE STAMP DUTY, COURT FEES, AND THE REGISTRATION FEES:

The amount of fund for the lawyers’ community can be generated from the amounts of Stamp Duty, Court Fees and Registration Charges collected by the government.

A specific percentage from these fees should be allocated in the Annual Budget for the benefit of and for making and giving grants/funds to the lawyers’ community.

The government should be asked to amend the relevant laws and frame policy for this purpose. In this way a permanent fund would be automatically generated and would be available for allocation for the benefit of the lawyers’ community.

 

(vi).     AMENDMENTS IN THE FINANCE ACT, 2015.

The Finance Act, 2015 has not focosed on the allocation of funds/grants to the Bar Councils and Bar Associations of Pakistan. As discussed above, in order to achieve the current economic goals of the organizations representing the lawyers’ community and for achieving the proposed short term objective, the government should be asked to amend the Finance Act, 2015 and provide grants and funds to the organizations representing the lawyers’ community so that they can achieve their objectives without any financial hurdles.

Although this research could be expanded further, I have merely reduced it to a ‘food for thought’. It would be a happy occasion for the lawyers’ community if all the Bar Associations raise their voice together.

Efforts should be made by the Bar Associations and Bar Councils to deliberate upon these suggestions and send the final recommendations to the honorable Chairman of the Senate for converting them into a Private Member’s Bill that would amend the Constitution of Pakistan and other relevant laws of the land and request the Government to draft a new policy keeping in view the demands of the lawyers’ community. Moreover a specific allocation of regular annual funding of Bar Associations and Bar Councils in the Federal and Provincial Annual Budgets should be made.

Every lawyer can give suggestions and recommendations to the government. However, it is appropriate to raise your voice through your respective Bar Associations.

 

[1] www.grbi.gov.pk/documents/rk_ch_9.pdf (Last visited on 27th August, 2015)
[2] www.grbi.gov.pk/documents/rk_ch_9.pdf (Last visited on 27th August, 2015)
[3] ibid
[4] ibid
[5] ibid
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning_Commission_(Pakistan) (Last visited on 27th August, 2015) See also http://www.pc.gov.pk/

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he might be associated.

Mirza Shahzad Abid Baig

The writer is an Advocate of the High Court and a Member Executive of the High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi. He graduated in law from International Islamic University, Islamabad and did his LL.M in Corporate Law from the same University. He has been practicing law for more than 12 years in Jhelum and Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench. He is a former associate of Kundi & Kundi, Advocates and Legal Consultants, Islamabad.



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