Journalists barred from courts despite LHC notice -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Journalists barred from courts despite LHC notice

LAHORE: Lawyers on Monday did not allow journalists to enter the sessions courts to cover the case of former MPA Shumaila Rana.

Journalists’ entry was barred despite the fact that the Lahore High Court chief justice had taken a suo motu notice of the incident. A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif and Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, however, adjourned until August 6 the proceedings in the suo motu case as accused lawyers sought time to engage their counsel and call their case record from the lower court.

The chief justice also remarked that giving a fortnight interim bail was against the National Judicial Policy. Earlier, the chief justice directed the four accused lawyers to remove their coats and ties when they appeared before the court. Those lawyers were Rana Sajjad, Rana Asif, Abdul Hanif Awan and Rana Saeed Anwar.

All lawyers were on bail but the court dismissed the bail of an accused, Mehar Jahangir advocate, for not appearing before the court. The chief justice also directed the lawyers to act with proper decorum.

The SSP (Operation) Lahore told the court that no one had been arrested as the accused lawyers were on bail.

Court Reporters Association President Saeed Chaudhry contended before the court that the lawyers’ representatives had promised not to create hurdles in arrest of the accused lawyers but now some of them were defending them.

He said the lawyers had also sent mobile messages to bar members appealing to save their colleagues from the clutches of police and journalists and added that the majority of bar members who were present in the courtroom had come on their appeal.

Justice Ijaz Chaudhry observed that the court will not accept any pressure and directed police officials to act in accordance with the law. The court, however, adjourned the proceedings when lawyers sought time to engage their counsel. Police were present in the court premises.
Source: The News
Date:8/4/2009