A dark day was witnessed when a group of rogue lawyers stormed the premises of the Islamabad High Court protesting against the demolition of their chambers during an anti-encroachment drive. We have seen numerous incidents of violence by lawyers but the incidents that transpired on Monday were indeed regretful.
The violent lawyers laid siege to the courtroom and ransacked the chambers of the IHC Chief Justice who was virtually held hostage for several hours. They also barged into the office of his secretary and manhandled staff members, broke windows and doors, abused judges, and laying complete carnage. The high court was shut down and proceedings throughout the day came to a complete standstill.
The judiciary will have to take stringent action against the rogue elements with the legal fraternity or else such incidents would reoccur. Police have booked 21 lawyers involved in the violence while they will also face contempt of proceedings. But it has been often observed that their fellow colleagues protect them and the lawyers are bailed right away and proceedings do not reach their logical conclusions.
This case should serve as an example that unscrupulous elements within the legal community will not be tolerated and need to be expunged. If the Chief Justice cannot be spared and is threatened by a group of angry lawyers then it shows the state of affairs for other judges and dissenting lawyers. Chief Justice of Pakistan was apprised of the situation and now the judiciary will have to take action.
The lawyers also did not have any justification as their chambers were built illegally and it was within the rights of the CDA to demolish them. The matter was pending since 2013 when lawyers built their chambers illegally on a football ground and the civic authority had taken action against them. The lawyers have a right to protest but it should be held in a peaceful manner.
The lawyers who had violated the sanctity of the court must not go unpunished. In December 2019, we witnessed a mob of angry lawyers attacked a hospital in Lahore, ransacking the emergency ward resulting in the death of three cardiac patients. The incident was shocking but seems to have been brushed aside but this must not be repeated before it is widely common.