A shameful act of lawyers

By: Syed Anwar Mahmood      Published: 06:39 PM, 9 Feb, 2021
A shameful act of lawyers

Yesterday was a day of shame in Islamabad. What was begun by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan in the cause of independence of the judiciary a decade and a half ago kept playing out over the years in a most fearful form.

Indeed it kept degenerating to the depths that we were all seeing in inexplicable silence. The eyes that matter also watched the decay in silence. Over the years, we saw policemen being beaten up not to mention the litigants and the appellants. We saw doctors and nurses being bashed up. We saw women being dragged. We saw civil servants including a Deputy Commissioner being held and dragged by the collar. And we saw civil judges being abused and manhandled in their court chambers. And all this being done by none other than those we call lawyers or law officers.

Violence by the lawyers is almost a norm now, a decay that was unimaginable some years back. The torchbearers of law are now a law unto themselves. The torch is being used to torch law and silence the dispensers of justice. So what happened in Islamabad yesterday in the premises of the Islamabad High Court and in the chamber of the honourable Chief Justice of the High Court should make us hang our heads in shame. It was a day of shame for the people of Pakistan but apparently not for our compatriots in black coats.

While words are not enough to condemn what they did in Islamabad yesterday, one cannot help mention that this could have been avoided had proper notice and action been taken by those who mattered as incidents after incidents of violence by the black coats kept occurring all over the country both inside and outside the courtrooms. While the silence of the police and the civil administration was perhaps an act of compromise to avoid confrontation with a segment of the society that is both vocal and not infrequently violent, the silence of the bench was not comprehensible.

Unfortunately, that silence, perhaps an act of restraint, was misunderstood as a licence by that section of the black coats who kept taking the law into their hands. They showed utter disregard for law and repeated disrespect even to the judges. Had notice and action been taken whenever such incidents occurred, we would not have had to witness what the lawyers did in Islamabad yesterday. What is equally lamentable is the fact that not one of the leading democratic vocals has uttered a word of condemnation at the shameful incident. Not till the writing of this piece late last evening. If the judiciary is threatened, can democracy be safe?

Courtesy Balochistan Times

Categories : Opinion