Law students are taught that being a lawyer is a noble profession, both inside and outside the courts, which should not be misused at any cost. But we have often witnessed actions of several rogue lawyers that bring the entire legal fraternity to shame.
The violence at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore was another shameful incident that must be strongly condemned. A mob of lawyers stormed the hospital, vandalised property, set ablaze a police vehicle and roughed up a provincial minister. They proceeded to the emergency ward raising slogans and forcing cardiac surgeries to be halted. The patients in critical care faced additional agony.One woman who was left unattended even died in the chaos.
Acts of violence by lawyers came to prominence during the lawyer’s movement in 2007 calling for the restoration of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The lawyers were agitating on the streets for over two years including the last days of military ruler General Musharraf’s era. They eventually became invincible and many have gone rogue.
The lawyers who attacked PIC should be held to task and the legal community should not defend them. The licenses of these lawyers should be cancelled. As senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan said many of these lawyers might stand up in upcoming bar elections and become more prominent. It is unacceptable for lawyers to enter wards and attack a hospital.
Although the actions are abhorrent, this is not the first time lawyers have displayed such volatile behaviour. There have been numerous incidents of lawyers misbehaving with elderly clients, thrashing policemen and slapping female wardens. These lawyers believe they are untouchable but they must be set straight once and for all.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned an emergency meeting in wake of the attack. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has formed an investigative committee to prosecute all those involved in the protest. The lawyers must be identified and punished for no one is above the law. There is a need to end his high-handed culture which is taking ground in our society. It’s time that the sanctity of the legal profession is restored.