Lawyers Beseech For High Court Bench
The Lahore High Court after a three-day meeting (from July 15 to 17) turned down a long-standing demand by lawyers for the creation of Lahore High Court Benches at five districts including Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Sahiwal and DG Khan. Resultantly, the district bar councils and lawyers of said districts announced to observe a strike in courts and stage protests against LHC’s decision.
Although the demand by lawyers in the above-mentioned districts for the creation of High Court Benches was legal and valid, this article deals specifically with the demand by lawyers of Faisalabad.
Faisalabad, being third biggest city of Pakistan and having third biggest Bar consisting of more than 4000 enrolled professionals, is the most deserving of this demand for multiple reasons.
Faisalabad division is comprised of four districts (Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang and Chiniot), has a population of 10 million, and is generating the second highest revenue for the state. Moreover, this division alone contributing more than 40% of all litigation in the Lahore High Court shows the presence of large number of litigants in the region and thus makes its demand just and irrefutable.
The local lawyers being the voice of litigants have been beseeching since the last 25 years for the creation of an LHC Bench under Article 198(4) of the Constitution which clearly states:
“Each of the High Courts may have Benches at such other places as the Governor may determine on the advice of the cabinet and in consultation with the Chief Justice of High Court.”
The concerned authorities have agreed on various occasions that the Multan Bench has a short distance of 88 km from Bahawalpur which has an LHC Bench and the presence of Rawalpindi Bench is also a mere distance of 15 km from the Islamabad High Court, thus Faisalabad which is almost 180 km from Lahore is completely justified in making such a demand.
Despite such a fundamental demand by the lawyers of the ‘Manchester’ of Pakistan, concerned authorities have always been reluctant in fulfilling their constitutional duty by being held hostage to the monopoly of lawyers and bar councils of bigger cities. The authorities should realize the significance and urgency of this legitimate claim as the speedy dispensation of justice for a huge number of litigants is contingent upon it.
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