- Legal matters should go to appropriate legal forums
The six-member executive committee of the Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) passed a controversial resolution and took it straight to the media without seeking confirmation from the mother organisation, the provincial bar council. The resolution accused Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Faez Isa of ridiculing the armed forces and casting serious aspersions on the intelligence agencies, strengthening the narrative of India in the judgment on the Faizabad sit-in. The resolution demanded action against Mr Justice Isa under Article 209(5) of the Constitution leading to his removal as judge of the Supreme Court. Soon after, the legal community started questioning if the mandate of the executive committee allowed it to pass the resolution, and the possible motives behind the move.
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Mr Justice Isa and Mr Justice Mushir Alam had taken suo motu notice of the Faizabad sit-in organised by the TLP in November 2017. The need arose as the move had disrupted life in the twin cities for at least 20 days. The court summoned the ISI, ECP and PEMRA. The proceedings continued till November 2018 when the judgment was announced. The bench expressed dissatisfaction on the performance of all the three respondents.
The best way for those disagreeing with the court’s orders was to seek legal remedy from the forum provided for the purpose in law. This is what the ISI, the PTI and some other plaintiffs did. Those who wanted to seek the disqualification of Justice Isa should have gone to the Supreme Judicial Council, which is the right forum. By taking recourse to media they have done good neither to themselves nor to those they were presumably supporting. They stand isolated as a whole lot of lawyers’ bodies including the Pakistan Bar Council, have come out publicly against them. By taking the issue to the media a perception has been created that the six executive committee members. who were elected to be the voice of the legal fraternity, have chosen instead to “become puppets of the puppet master”, as claimed in a joint statement by the Sindh Bar Council, the Sindh High Court Bar Association, the Karachi Bar Association and the Malir Bar Association.