Author name: Umer Ijaz Gilani

SC-Pakistan lawandpolicychambers

Parliament enacts Bill to regulate Supreme Court Procedure

This week, the Pakistani Parliament has enacted a Bill to regulate the Practice and Procedure of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Bill will become effective once it is signed by the President. Even if the President chooses not to sign it, it will become effective after 14 days. The legality of the Bill is being hotly debated and is likely to be come up for adjudication soon. [embeddoc url=”https://www.lawandpolicychambers.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Supreme-Court-Practice-and-Procedure-Bill-1.pdf”]

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No-More-Strikes-Please lawandpolicychambers

No More Strikes, Please!

No More Strikes, Please! When terrorists struck at a local court in Charsadda on March 7, 2016, and killed more than a dozen innocent people, right inside the court premises, court-going lawyers all over Pakistan felt not only sad but personally insecure. Back in 2014, we saw something similar happen in the heart of Islamabad’s district courts complex. So we know what it feels like. While it is a sad situation, the question is: what can private citizens do about something like terrorism? I suppose only the state can stop it. Quite naturally, the incident received condemnation from all over the country. In Islamabad’s legal community, however, the incident triggered a heated debate about the lawyers’ strikes and the legal status of this practice. Unlike terrorist strikes, the issue of lawyers’ strikes is something on which the informed opinion of citizens and young lawyers can actually make a difference. In fact, it makes all the difference. Since this debate has far-reaching implications for the court system all over the country, let me recap it for the for the benefit of the wider reading public. First, a quick background about the locus of the discussion. The discussion took place on a WhatsApp forum called “Law Talks”, hosted by two young and ambitious Islamabad-based High Court lawyers. On this forum, more than two hundred and fifty of the city’s practicing lawyers regularly discuss legal and socio-legal issues. Immediately after the incident, the administrator of the group asked the newly-elected President of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association: “Will the lawyers call a strike tomorrow against the brutal attack?” Past experience had given us ample cause to expect that the answer would be “Yes”. For more than half a decade, I have personally witnessed justice being defeated in this country’s court system by its worst enemy: delay. In an op-ed I wrote recently, I pointed out that, contrary to popular opinion, shortage of judges is not the only cause behind the enormous delays encountered by litigants in our court system[1]. It’s probably not even the most significant cause. Delay is the product of a perverse legal culture which has taken hold of our community. The practice of frequent “lawyers’ strikes” is an integral part of this culture. The figures are astounding. In the year 2014, my research concluded that the Islamabad District Bar Association had called for strike on more than 50 days of the year[2]. In such conditions, a common law system such as ours, where judges rely heavily upon lawyers, simply cannot function. Before proceeding further, let me clarify that I do not intend to vilify the bar leaders who frequently call for strikes. They, like other actors in the game, act in response to the larger institutional environment of our judicial system. The sociology of the lawyers’ strikes is complex and understudied. We need to use an evidence-based method for answering the basic question: who wins and who loses from lawyers’ strikes. But that discussion is for another day. Here, let us come back to the Whatsapp discussion. The thing is that after the Charsadda terrorist incident, when everyone was anticipating a call for strike – for one full court day, possibly 3 days, even a whole week – the newly elected President gave us a huge surprise: “No strike. Please pray for the deceased and condemn the terrorist”, he announced on the WhatsApp group. Young lawyers flocked in support of the bar leader’s unexpected decision. A senior government lawyer also wrote in support: “Condemnation of Charsadda event and solidarity and dua for the affectees is in order. Strike is not
 Decision of the IHCBA 
 will help curb the unhealthy trend of frequently calling strikes”. Taking a cue from the changing winds, even an old time bar leader, who in his tenure had been quite comfortable with exploiting the politics of strikes, added: “Strikes are not the solution. Just pray for them collectively during the intervals in court day”. For a while, it seemed that both young lawyers and senior bar leaders had reached a consensus that the era of strikes should be behind us. One minute later, these hopes were dashed. “As per decision of Pakistan Bar Council, lawyers of Islamabad will also observe a strike tomorrow,” the President then announced. So, this time around, it wasn’t the angry, young, briefless lawyers of the district Bar Associations pushing for strikes. It was the venerable Pakistan Bar Council itself, a body comprising exclusively of senior Supreme Court lawyers, who were indulging in opportunistic politics. The Notification issued by the PBC that day reads as follows[3]: “Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem, Vice-Chairman and Mr. Abdul Fayaz, Chairman, Executive Committee, Pakistan Bar Council have strongly condemned the terrorists attack in Courts of Shabqadar, Charsadda, KP in which more than 13 innocent persons including two clerks of lawyers and police officials, have been martyred whereas two lawyers being in critical condition, are in the ICU of a local hospital besides many others seriously injured. For condemnation of this tragic incident they have appealed the lawyers to observe country wide strike tomorrow, i.e. Tuesday, the 8th March, 2016. The lawyers, as such, while observing strike will hold protest meetings in their bar rooms and wear black bands to condemn the tragic incident. Deploring the utter failure of the federal and KP governments in maintaining law and order situation in the province and to provide security and safety to the people, they have demanded the government to arrest the culprits and bring them to book at the earliest. While expressing solidarity with bereaved families, on behalf of the legal fraternity, they have emphasized the need of evolving foolproof practical strategy and plan for improving the law and order situation in and around courts throughout Pakistan ensuring safety and security of the judges, lawyers and litigants. – SECRETARY” One of the lawyers on the group, who himself practices in the Supreme Court, immediately caught on the irony of the situation. He asked, “[IF SC lawyers sitting in

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Profiles In Justice - lawandpolicychambers

Profiles In Justice

Profiles In Justice The Chief Justice of Lahore High Court has recently made 11 nominations for appointment to the Bench of the Lahore High Court. News of these nominations (made by the Chief Justice to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan – JCP) surfaced on 20th September, 2018 through media reports. The same media reports also indicate that on October 2, 2018, the JCP is scheduled to meet and discuss the nominations. Unfortunately, very little information exists in the public sphere about these nominees and absolutely nothing has been revealed by the Judicial Commission. To fill the information gap, we have decided to put together and publish an independent investigative report on the nominees, largely using publicly available sources, but also using interviews where possible. This is only a preliminary report using information readily available to us and we are happy to correct any errors and omissions if they can be pointed out. As Professor Amartya Sen has argued in his famous work The Idea of Justice, democracy is not just another name for electoral rituals: the essence of democracy is public reasoning. This is why, all over the world, a fair, informed and lively debate about judicial nominations is considered to be an essential part of democracy. Shying away from public reasoning is, on the other hand, considered the sign of an authoritarian state structure. We consider this preliminary investigation to be a step towards complying with the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Dr. Naveeda Tufail vs. Governmnet of Punjab (2003 SCMR 291), where it stated the following: “The appointments in the public sector is a trust in the hands of public authorities and it is their legal and moral duty to discharge their function as trustee with complete transparency 
” Similarly, in Muhammad Ashraf Tiwana vs. Pakistan and Others, a judgment authored by the reputable Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja (2013 SCMR 1159), the Supreme Court was pleased to hold the following: “
issues of appointments to senior positions in public bodies, under-scored the need for a transparent, inclusive and demonstrably fair process for the selection of persons to be appointed to such senior positions, and that the Federal Government might consider the necessity of putting in place independent mechanisms and of framing open, fair and transparent processes
” A common thread which emerges from a review of the Supreme Court’s precedent on the issue of public appointments is this: “a transparent, inclusive and demonstrably fair process
” is the best guarantee of confidence-inspiring public appointments. Our investigation is a humble step towards bringing these salutary principles to bear on the judicial appointments process. This research has being carried out pro bono and has not been influenced in any way by any of the nominees. 1. Anwaar ul Haq Pannun Mr. Anwaar ul Haq Pannun is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is perhaps the oldest amongst the present 11 nominees, being about 55 years of age. He received his law degree from Punjab University Law College. After graduating, he went into practice in Narowal, his hometown, where he established a law practice. At present, his principal place of practice is Lahore where he continues to run Pannun Law Associates. His name shows up in the list of registered taxpayers uploaded on the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR’s) website. Mr. Pannun is presently President of Lahore High Court Bar Association and was kind enough to grant us an interview. He is closely associated with Mr. Ahsan Bhoon who leads the Independent Group, one of the two major voting blocs in Pakistan’s bar politics. This is not the first time Mr. Pannun has been nominated to the bench of the Lahore High Court. In early 2008, during the tumultuous days of the Lawyers’ Movement, President Asif Ali Zardari appointed him as a Judge of the High Court. However, after the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, his appointment, along with many others, was declared illegal by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, in 2014, the then Chief Justice Khawaja Imtiaz again nominated Mr. Pannun for the same position. However, in its meeting on October 6, 2014, the JCP, at the time headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, decided not to accept his nomination for reasons which have never been made public. 2. Tafazzul H. Rizvi Mr. Tafazzul H. Rizvi is an Advocate of the Supreme of Pakistan and Partner at Rizvi & Rizvi (rizviandrizvi.com). He hails from a family of lawyers and judges based in Lahore. His grandfather, Mr. Jamil Hussain Rizvi served as the Minister for Law and Rehabilitation West Pakistan, as Advocate General West Pakistan and as Judge of West Pakistan High Court. His father (who was also his partner), is Mr. Talib Rizvi, senior Advocate Supreme Court, who in his own time was a serious contender for judgeship. Mr. Rizvi holds a Master of Laws degree from Cornell University Law School. Mr. Rizvi refused various attempts to interview him. However, public sources indicate that his principal areas of practice are commercial law, taxation and elections. His most well-known client and also his claim to fame is the Pakistan Cricket Board. As lawyer for PCB, he is known to have worked on drafting the following documents: the Constitution of Pakistan Cricket Board, the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel and Code of Conduct for Umpires. He has also worked on Agriculture Marketing Laws for the Government of Punjab. He has contributed various op-eds which may be accessed online. 3. Shakeel ur Rahman Khan Mr. Shakeel ur Rehman is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. During the last tenure of the Shahbaz Sharif government, he served as the 36th Advocate General of Punjab (Mar 2016 – May 2018), a position he relinquished during the caretaker government’s tenure. Mr. Shakeel ur Rehman’s father is Justice Khalil ur Rahman Khan who served as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court and retired as a Supreme Court judge when he refused to take oath under General Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional

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Pak-Turk Schools Case and Proposals for Regulating Supreme Court’s Powers Under A.184(3)

Pak-Turk Schools Case and Proposals for Regulating Supreme Court’s Powers Under A.184(3) [Download the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Pak-Turk Schools case here: SC Judgment – Pak Turk Schools] On the 13th of December, 2018, electronic media reported a very unusual decision announced by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Acting as a court of first instance, the Court decided to declare the management of Pak-Turk Schools – comprising mostly Pakistani businesspersons and teachers – a “terrorist organization”. The Court also dissolved the registered non-profit company which owned 28 schools worth billions of rupees and handed these assets over to another non-profit, the Ma’arif Foundation, fully controlled by the Turkish government. The decision was made after the first and last hearing of a case titled Sohail Sajid v. Federation of Pakistan and others (Constitution Petition No. 66/2018). This was a case of judicial overreach par excellence. However, since it was only one in a long series of such cases, news of it faded into oblivion after making a few headlines. The case briefly resurfaced on the morning of 27th December, 2018 – which is when I first read about it. I think it is telling that despite the historic significance of this judgment, only one newspaper, the Express Tribune, bothered to report its contents in any considerable detail.[1] People may have been mummed because in 2018 not a day had passed without the Supreme Court giving a raw deal to elected parliamentarians, senior civil servants, expert lawyers, eminent journalists and leading private entrepreneurs. In December 2018, a time had come when the Supreme Court committing excesses while exercising its original jurisdiction was no longer news. But this case is worth exploring because it represents something new. At the receiving end was a group of virtually powerless people: teachers. The court did not simply chide them, it went all the way and declared them a terrorist organization. Neither was I counsel for any of the parties involved nor did I have any professional ties to them. In fact, I only learnt about this case through the news story which I read on 27th December, 2018. I decided to write about it simply because the facts can help sensitize us about what is wrong with the present practice of Article 184(3) of the Constitution and what can still be done to fix it. The account which I present here is based on my independent review of the entire case-file as well as interviews with parties on both sides of this dispute. In the wake of Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa’s welcome call for reinterpreting Article 184(3), this case is especially worth probing into. The Pak-Turk Schools The Pak-Turk Schools is a chain of schools set up over the last two decades by a network of educators who were inspired by a Turkish religious figure known to his followers as Ustaad Fethullah Gulen. Gulen’s followers did not set up schools in Pakistan only; they set up hundreds of schools in dozens of countries around the world. It is important to remember that although the schools were set up by Gulen’s followers, they were never owned by Gulen. They were not even owned by his followers. They were set up, in each country of the world, as registered “foundations”, or “auqaf” as they are more widely known in the Muslim world. In Pakistan, the schools were initially set up and owned by Pak-Turk International CAG Education Foundation (PTICEF), an NGO registered in Turkey under Turkish law. Back in 1997, PTICEF, like other international NGOs operating in the country, obtained a licence from the Economic Affairs Division of the Government of Pakistan. However, by 2014, the schools had been legally handed over by PTICEF to Pak-Turk Education Foundation (PTEF), a non-profit registered in Pakistan, under Pakistani law. As a result of this corporate restructuring, by the time the 2016 coup took place, the schools were totally independent of Turkey and were governed entirely by the laws of Pakistan. The Turkish Government’s war against the Gulen Movement Ustaad Fethullah Gulen was once friends with the leadership of AKP, the political party which has consistently held the reins of power in Turkey for the last fifteen years. In fact, many would say that without its symbiotic relationship with the Gulen Movement, AKP would never have succeeded in gaining total control over the institutions of the Turkish state. But with time, as is the case with so many relations between people in power, the relationship turned sour. In 2016, things came to a climax when some of Gulen’s followers allegedly tried to bring about a violent coup to dethrone the AKP. The coup failed and the Turkish government headed by President Erdogan hit back at Gulen’s followers with brutal reprisals. It was in the wake of this coup that President Erdogan coined the term ‘Fethullah Terrorist Organization’ (FETO) to describe the very loosely connected network of enterprises set up by members of the Gulen Movement. To this day, Gulen denies any involvement in the coup and denounces any effort to dethrone governments through the use of violence. But this has not helped cool Erdogan. Like many absolutist rulers before him, Erdogan seems to have become paranoid. He is consumed by the largely imaginary threat he faces from Gulen Movement supporters. As a result, hundreds of Turkish citizens have ended up getting killed, tens of thousands have been jailed, more than a hundred thousand have been fired from work or otherwise punished for the crimes of the alleged FETO. While we will never know exactly how many have suffered, much has been done by the Turkish government that cannot be called fair by any standard. The Turkish government’s witch-hunt against Gulen’s followers also has a global dimension. Erdogan has personally reached out to all countries of the world where Gulen’s followers have any presence. Amongst them is Pakistan. Executive versus Judiciary From August 2016 onwards, the Turkish government has made multiple attempts to convince its Pakistani counterparts to launch a crackdown against the teachers and manager of Pak-Turk Schools because many of them are, or have at some stages of their

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local-government - lawandpolicychambers

The Case Against Dissolution of Local Governments

The Case Against Dissolution of Local Governments I – Introduction “Dissolution” is not something new to Pakistani law. The first time I read the word “writ”  in the headline of an Urdu newspaper in our home, sometime in the 1990s, it had been used in the context of “dissolution” – the dissolution of federal and provincial governments which had taken place many times in the 1990s. In law school, one of the first academic works we had been exposed to was a book called Jurisprudence of Dissolutions by Dr. Osama Siddiq, featuring an analysis of the extremely copious jurisprudence produced by the superior courts which had been called upon to adjudicate the legality of the dissolution of federal and provincial governments from 1988 to 1997. About twenty five years later, the season of dissolutions is back. This time I find myself to be a part of the story as well. One of the first initiatives taken by the newly elected PTI government in Punjab was to dissolve all the functioning local governments in Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province. In May 2019, when Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2019, around 58,000 elected representatives of the people were sent packing despite having completed less than half of their 5-year statutory tenure. While PLGA 2019 makes tall claims about devolution in the distant future, the present reality is that project devolution has been successfully rolled back (and won’t be returning till an indefinite date). The power that had been devolved in 2017 by the Province of Punjab to 58,000 elected representatives has been reclaimed and it has now been placed in the hands of 3 dozen officers belonging to the Pakistan Administrative Service (popularly known as “DMG officers”) handpicked by the Chief Minister of Punjab. Aggrieved by this dissolution, in early May 2019, many of the deposed local government officials came knocking at Lahore High Court’s door. Amongst the deposed local politicians is Ahmad Iqbal Chaudhary, former Chair of Narowal District Council, represented by me before the Lahore High Court. The case has received significant media attention because of the sheer number of direct affectees: over 58,000 local politicians. What a few seem to recognize is that, in the longer run, the real significance of the case is not the number of direct affectees, but the far-reaching constitutional questions which the court has been called upon to decide. The questions include the following: Is Pakistan a two-tier federation or a three-tier federation? If so, do local governments, like the Narowal District Council, have anything close to the status of a “federating unit”? Are local governments autonomous “governments” who derive their authority to rule from the Constitution, or are they mere “subsidiaries” of the provincial government? If local governments are a tier of the federation and not mere subsidiaries of the province, does the Constitution allow for them to be sent packing in the midst of their tenures, simply because a different political party has obtained numerical majority in the Provincial Assembly? The case has now been pending before the Lahore High Court for well over three and a half months. But we expect that in September when the court returns from its summer vacation, the case will return to its roster and will soon be decided. Perhaps for the first time in the history of Pakistan, these questions will receive a direct and authoritative judicial response. Whichever way it turns, it is quite likely that the case of Ahmad Iqbal Chaudhary v. Province of Punjab (W.P. 28066/2019) will leave a mark on how the doctrines of “federalism” and “devolution” are understood in Pakistani constitutional law. [A complete copy of the text of the petition is available here: https://www.lawandpolicychambers.com/p/before-lahore-high-court-lahore.html ] Because of the stakes involved, I have decided to share with the reading public the arguments we have adopted in a simplified form. After all, it is “we, the people of Pakistan”, the ordinary public, and not just lawyers and judges, who have been mentioned in the Preamble of the Constitution as the fountain of all earthly authority. II – The Road to 140A: A Brief History of Local Governments in Pakistan The story of this case must begin with a brief recap of the history of local governments in Pakistan. When Pakistan came into being, powerful local bodies such as the Lahore Improvement Trust and Karachi Municipal Corporation were very much in existence. However, our first Constitution, the Government of India Act 1935, did not contain any significant provision about securing local governments from the intrusion of provinces. Insofar as the distribution of powers between the federation and the provinces is concerned, the Government of India Act 1935 provided a detailed account of things. But, as far as the third tier goes, it was, unfortunately, silent. The same unfortunate omission can be noticed in the 1956 Constitution and 1962 Constitution. Even the Chapter on Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1956 Constitution (Articles 23 to 32), which covered a lot of ground, made no mention of local government institutions. This negligence towards local governments displayed by our earliest constitutional thinkers is at least part of the reason why institutions of local government have failed to flourish in this country. The framers of the 1973 Constitution finally attempted to rectify the error. Express recognition was first given to local government institutions through Article 32 of the 1973 Constitution, which falls in the Chapter on Principles of Policy. It states the following:  “32. Promotion of local Government institutions. The State shall encourage local Government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and in such institutions, the special representation will be given to peasants, workers and, women.” Unfortunately, Article 32 on its own did not prove to be adequate to the task. In the period between 1973 to 2001, the state of Pakistan was unable to “encourage local governments” despite the promulgation of Article 32. The principal problem faced by local governments in this initial period was that their tenure was repeatedly cut short and their institutional framework was frequently altered through provincial legislation. The table below illustrates the problem. TABLE – Frequent Alteration and Dissolution of Local Governments in Punjab Period Parent Statute  Dissolution/Alteration statute Duration 1972 to 1975 Punjab People’s

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lawyers-strike || lawadnpolicychambers

Courts vs Lawyers: IHC Judgment Directing Demolition of Lawyers’ Chambers

A few days ago, when bar-bench relations in Islamabad were already at an all-time low, the honourable Islamabad High Court (IHC) proceeded to announce a judgment directing the demolition of a significant chunk of lawyers’ offices located in F-8 katchehri. The aforesaid direction was issued while deciding Writ Petition No. 2906 of 2018 titled Ms. Shehnaz Butt v. Islamabad Bar Association and Others. The Court’s Ruling and the Reasoning Behind It The crux of the judgment is that the lawyers’ offices, being structures built over a former football ground, are liable to demolition. The demolition must be carried out by the Bar Association itself, otherwise it will be carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) latest by 23rd March, 2021. In the same order, a direction has also been given to the state to construct a district court complex in Islamabad, but, interestingly, no timeframe has been given to the state. The judgment has been widely criticized by the leadership of bar associations. Several hundred lawyers have even assembled in Islamabad to condemn it as we speak. On the other hand, there is also a handful of lawyers and journalists who see this judgment as a victory for the rule of law. I would like to offer some sober reflections on the matter. The judgment appears to be premised on the following three reasons: The Islamabad Bar Association (IBA), which had allotted tiny plots to the lawyers, did not have any property rights over the land to begin with. Instead, the land belonged to CDA, an agency of the state. If the IBA itself did not have legal title to the property, it could not have passed on the title. Therefore, lawyers who consider themselves to be owners of the said land, actually have no legal title. The structures have been constructed in violation of building by-laws, since no design had been approved. The construction violates the master plan, in which the said land had been allotted to a playground, not to lawyers’ offices. A Socio-Legal Critique If we go by formal legal reasoning alone, we cannot rebut any of these propositions. However, the story does not end here. The writ jurisdiction is an equitable jurisdiction. To determine the equities of any matter, it is essential to consider all sides of it. Therefore, all three reasons described above must also be seen in a socio-legal context. First, let’s look at the issue of lack of title. Are the lawyers’ offices, built over the erstwhile football field, the only encroachments on state land in Islamabad? Clearly not. All the lawyers’ offices built in F-8 katchehri are sitting atop state land. The only difference is that the chambers built over the erstwhile football field are mostly occupied by younger, ‘poorer’ and less connected lawyers. To demolish the offices built over the football field and leave all others untouched amounts to blatant discrimination. If and when the demolition happens, it would have to be all-encompassing. It should be interesting to note that some of the courts would also be subject to the same logic. They, too, have been built over land which had never been allotted for the purpose. They, too, must be treated in the same manner then. While we are on the subject of encroachments on state land, let us also recall that there are hundreds of thousands of katchi abadi residents who live on encroached state land. How can we possibly look at the issue in isolation from its socio-economic context? The rise of “informal” or “grey” settlements is a phenomenon which cannot be viewed in isolation from the failure of the state itself. Secondly, let’s look at the issue of non-compliance with building by-laws. Again, this would hit half of Islamabad perhaps. Even the Prime Minister’s house got regularized only recently. The question for the state is, if you cannot go after all of the unapproved buildings, then is it equitable to target only a few? Thirdly, if we are going to refer to the master plan again, let us not forget that this supposedly “complete” document did not provide for the construction of District Courts or the High Court. So, if the aim is to revert to the 1960s vision, then before demolishing lawyers’ chambers shouldn’t we be demolishing the Honourable High Court? I don’t think we are willing to do that. A glaring concern in the judgment stems from the fact that the court seems to have ignored the most fundamental issue at hand: for over 60 years, the state has neglected its duty to construct a judicial complex for the people of Islamabad. This is the elephant in the room and must be addressed. A Public Space for Client-Lawyer Consultation: The Evolution of “Katchehri Phatta” The court has repeatedly stated that lawyers are not entitled to be allotted “private chambers”. This is absolutely correct. But this statement needs to be complemented with an assurance that lawyers – and their clients – do have entitlement to a “public space” where low-cost consultation can take place. This, in fact, is the basic idea of what a katchehri phatta is. It is not the same as a “lawyer’s private chamber”. The idea of a phatta is a unique spatial concept which has developed in the subcontinent over the course of history and is not widely understood by people in the legal field or even by urban planners and architects. The general understanding is that wherever the state sets up courts of law, lawyers set up a “public space” either within that court complex or right outside of it. This public space is populated with the simplest of tables and chairs and will sometimes have a makeshift roof as well. But you cannot build walls around a phatta in order to maintain the nature of a co-working space where local lawyers service clients seeking low-cost access to justice. When lawyers are not using their katchehri tables, their peers, colleagues, juniors and seniors can use it, so it is a very communal form of property, but this kind of arrangement does have significant practical implications

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Umer Gilani

Umer Gilani

UMER IJAZ GILANI PARTNER Supreme Court I have been a part of the legal profession since 2010 when I graduated with a BA-LLB (Hons.) from the Law and Policy Program at LUMS. That was also the time when I first conceived the idea of setting up a diverse professional services firm by this name. In the early years of my career, I had the opportunity to work as a Research Associate (Law Clerk) at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In 2013, I attended the University of Washington, Seattle on a Fulbright Scholarship and did a Masters degree in Asian and Comparative Law.  Since 2014, I have been actively practicing law in Pakistan.  Over the years, I have had the opportunity to argue important cases in all the High Courts of Pakistan. I have concluded more that one hundred cases, many of which have been widely reported in the mass media and have also culminated in reported judgments which are available on this website.  A wiki entry summarizes some of my more prominent cases: everybodywiki.com/Umer_Ijaz_Gilani I have also been engaged for advisory and transactional work by many institutions, especially regulatory bodies and businesses. While I practice in diverse areas of law, my principal areas of expertise are: constitutional law, regulatory law, service law, public procurement law, citizenship law and business law.  Contact Info Phone: 03015011568 Email: umer.gilani@gmail.com Follow on Facebook Twitter Linkedin CURRICULUM VITAE List of Cases Education LLM 2013-2014 University of Washington BA-LLB 2005-2010 Lahore University of Management Sciences Areas of Expertise Constitutional Law 13 years experience Business Law Law & Technology Regulatory Law Service Law Recent Cases EOBI versus Federation of Pakistan & Others Writ Petition under Article 199 challenging the unconsitutional breach of jurisdiction by a Special Committee of the Parliament Mst. Shirin Safdar versus Federation of Pakistan Writ Petition under Article 199 challenging the vires of Section 7E of the Finance Act, 2022 Syed Arif Bacha Civil Petition Leave to Appeal under Article 185(3) for the reinstatement of an illegally terminated employee of Habib Bank Limited đŒđšđ§đšđ„ 𝐚𝐧𝐝 đšđ­đĄđžđ« đ‘đžđŹđ­đšđźđ«đšđ§đ­đŹ 𝐹𝐧 đšđ« đšđ«đšđźđ§đ đđąđ« 𝐒𝐹𝐡𝐚𝐰𝐚 𝐑𝐹𝐚𝐝 𝐱𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đŒđšđ«đ đšđ„ đ‡đąđ„đ„đŹ đđšđ­đąđšđ§đšđ„ đđšđ«đ­ đŹđĄđšđ„đ„ 𝐕𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đđ«đžđŠđąđŹđžđŹ 𝐰𝐱𝐭𝐡𝐱𝐧 đ­đĄđ«đžđž 𝐌𝐹𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐬. đ‡đšđ°đžđŻđžđ«, đ’đŠđšđ„đ„ đ€đąđšđŹđ€đŹ 𝐬𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐚đČ 𝐜𝐹𝐧𝐭𝐱𝐧𝐼𝐞 𝐭𝐹 𝐛𝐞 đšđ©đžđ«đšđ­đžđ 𝐒𝐼𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐹 𝐋𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞/𝐍𝐎𝐂 𝐛đČ 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đˆđŹđ„đšđŠđšđ›đšđ đ–đąđ„đ 𝐋𝐱𝐟𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 đđšđšđ«đ. đŠđĄđźđ„đš 𝐱𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đ€đ›đŹđšđ„đźđ­đž 𝐚𝐧𝐝 đ…đźđ§đđšđŠđžđ§đ­đšđ„ 𝐑𝐱𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐹𝐟 𝐚 𝐖𝐱𝐟𝐞: đ…đžđđžđ«đšđ„ đ’đĄđšđ«đąđšđ­ đ‚đšđźđ«đ­. 𝐀 𝐏𝐞𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐹𝐞𝐬 𝐧𝐹𝐭 đ…đšđ„đ„ 𝐰𝐱𝐭𝐡𝐱𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đŹđœđšđ©đž 𝐹𝐟 𝐚𝐧đČ đđ«đšđŻđąđŹđąđšđ§ 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐹𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧, 𝐋𝐚𝐰 đšđ« đ‘đźđ„đžđŹ, 𝐌𝐼𝐬𝐭 𝐧𝐹𝐭 𝐛𝐞 đ„đ§đ­đžđ«đ­đšđąđ§đžđ 𝐛đČ 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐱𝐜𝐞/𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 đđ«đšđ§đœđĄ: 𝐒𝐂 đˆđ§đ đ«đžđđąđžđ§đ­đŹ 𝐹𝐟 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝟔(𝟏) 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐱 đ“đžđ«đ«đšđ«đąđŹđŠ 𝐀𝐜𝐭, 𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟕 —𝐧𝐹𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐱𝐧𝐹𝐼𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đœđ«đąđŠđžâ€” đŒđšđ­đ­đžđ«đŹ: 𝐉𝐼𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐜𝐞 đ‰đšđŠđšđ„ 𝐊𝐡𝐚𝐧 đŒđšđ§đđšđ€đĄđšđąđ„ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 đ’đźđ©đ«đžđŠđž đ‚đšđźđ«đ­ đ”đ©đĄđšđ„đđŹ 𝐚𝐧 đ„đ„đžđœđ­đąđšđ§ 𝐂𝐹𝐩𝐩𝐱𝐬𝐬𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝐉𝐼𝐝𝐠𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 đ°đĄđžđ«đžđąđ§ đ”đ§đźđŹđźđšđ„ đ“đźđ«đ§đšđźđ­ 𝐰𝐚𝐬 đ€đœđœđžđ©đ­đžđ 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 đ’đšđ„đž 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐹𝐧 đŸđšđ« 𝐑𝐞-đ©đšđ„đ„đąđ§đ . đ‰đźđđąđœđąđšđ„ đƒđžđ„đšđČ 𝐱𝐧 đƒđąđŹđ©đšđŹđšđ„ 𝐹𝐟 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐱𝐭𝐬 đ’đšđ„đźđ­đąđšđ§ 𝐁đČ đ”đŠđžđ« 𝐈𝐣𝐚𝐳 đ†đąđ„đšđ§đą, 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐹𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 đ’đźđ©đ«đžđŠđž đ‚đšđźđ«đ­ đŒđšđ§đšđ„ 𝐚𝐧𝐝 đšđ­đĄđžđ« đ‘đžđŹđ­đšđźđ«đšđ§đ­đŹ 𝐹𝐧 đšđ« đšđ«đšđźđ§đ đđąđ« 𝐒𝐹𝐡𝐚𝐰𝐚 𝐑𝐹𝐚𝐝 𝐱𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đŒđšđ«đ đšđ„ đ‡đąđ„đ„đŹ đđšđ­đąđšđ§đšđ„ đđšđ«đ­ đŹđĄđšđ„đ„ 𝐕𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đđ«đžđŠđąđŹđžđŹ 𝐰𝐱𝐭𝐡𝐱𝐧 đ­đĄđ«đžđž 𝐌𝐹𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐬. đ‡đšđ°đžđŻđžđ«, đ’đŠđšđ„đ„ đ€đąđšđŹđ€đŹ 𝐬𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐚đČ 𝐜𝐹𝐧𝐭𝐱𝐧𝐼𝐞 𝐭𝐹 𝐛𝐞 đšđ©đžđ«đšđ­đžđ 𝐒𝐼𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐹 𝐋𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞/𝐍𝐎𝐂 𝐛đČ 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đˆđŹđ„đšđŠđšđ›đšđ đ–đąđ„đ 𝐋𝐱𝐟𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 đđšđšđ«đ. đŠđĄđźđ„đš 𝐱𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đ€đ›đŹđšđ„đźđ­đž 𝐚𝐧𝐝 đ…đźđ§đđšđŠđžđ§đ­đšđ„ 𝐑𝐱𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐹𝐟 𝐚 𝐖𝐱𝐟𝐞: đ…đžđđžđ«đšđ„ đ’đĄđšđ«đąđšđ­ đ‚đšđźđ«đ­. 𝐀 𝐏𝐞𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐹𝐞𝐬 𝐧𝐹𝐭 đ…đšđ„đ„ 𝐰𝐱𝐭𝐡𝐱𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đŹđœđšđ©đž 𝐹𝐟 𝐚𝐧đČ đđ«đšđŻđąđŹđąđšđ§ 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐹𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧, 𝐋𝐚𝐰 đšđ« đ‘đźđ„đžđŹ, 𝐌𝐼𝐬𝐭 𝐧𝐹𝐭 𝐛𝐞 đ„đ§đ­đžđ«đ­đšđąđ§đžđ 𝐛đČ 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐱𝐜𝐞/𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐭𝐼𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 đđ«đšđ§đœđĄ: 𝐒𝐂 đˆđ§đ đ«đžđđąđžđ§đ­đŹ 𝐹𝐟 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝟔(𝟏) 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐱 đ“đžđ«đ«đšđ«đąđŹđŠ 𝐀𝐜𝐭, 𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟕 —𝐧𝐹𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐱𝐧𝐹𝐼𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐹𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 đœđ«đąđŠđžâ€” đŒđšđ­đ­đžđ«đŹ: 𝐉𝐼𝐬𝐭𝐱𝐜𝐞 đ‰đšđŠđšđ„ 𝐊𝐡𝐚𝐧 đŒđšđ§đđšđ€đĄđšđąđ„ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 đ’đźđ©đ«đžđŠđž đ‚đšđźđ«đ­ đ”đ©đĄđšđ„đđŹ 𝐚𝐧 đ„đ„đžđœđ­đąđšđ§ 𝐂𝐹𝐩𝐩𝐱𝐬𝐬𝐱𝐹𝐧 𝐉𝐼𝐝𝐠𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 đ°đĄđžđ«đžđąđ§ đ”đ§đźđŹđźđšđ„ đ“đźđ«đ§đšđźđ­ 𝐰𝐚𝐬 đ€đœđœđžđ©đ­đžđ 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 đ’đšđ„đž 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐹𝐧 đŸđšđ« 𝐑𝐞-đ©đšđ„đ„đąđ§đ . đ‰đźđđąđœđąđšđ„ đƒđžđ„đšđČ 𝐱𝐧 đƒđąđŹđ©đšđŹđšđ„ 𝐹𝐟 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐱𝐭𝐬 đ’đšđ„đźđ­đąđšđ§ 𝐁đČ đ”đŠđžđ« 𝐈𝐣𝐚𝐳 đ†đąđ„đšđ§đą, 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐹𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 đ’đźđ©đ«đžđŠđž đ‚đšđźđ«đ­ Publications New Laws Achievements Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Umer Gilani (2015), Fire from the Blue Sky: Drone attack victims from Pakistan, their voice and their struggle , SUR International Journal of Human Rights, SUR 22 http://sur.conectas.org/en//issue-22/fire-blue-sky Umer Gilani (2010) Comment: The Qazalbash Waqf in LUMS Student Law Reviewhttp://lumsstudentlawreview.blogspot.com/2010/12/comment-qazalbash-waqf-v-chief-land.html Umer Gilani (2016) The Struggle of the Residents of Islamabad’s Katchi Abadis, Bertha Foundation Bloghttp://berthafoundation.org/bejust/?p=1490 Umer Gilani, (2019) The Case against Dissolution of Local Government, Courting the Law – an online magazinehttp://courtingthelaw.com/2019/09/17/commentary/the-case-against-dissolution-of-local-governments/ Umer Gilani, (2016) No more Strikes, Please, Courting the Law – an online magazinehttp://courtingthelaw.com/2016/03/25/commentary/no-more-strikes-please Making Our Democracy Work-What Went Wrong and How to Fix it: A Lawyer’s View.https://pide.org.pk/research/making-our-democracy-work-what-went-wrong-and-how-to-fix-it-a-lawyers-view/ Judicial Delay in Disposal of Case and its Solution https://pide.org.pk/research/reflections-on-the-political-economy-of-judicial-delay-in-pakistan/   He an thing rapid these after going drawn or. Timed she his law the spoil round defer. In surprise concerns informed betrayed he learning is ye. Ignorant formerly so ye blessing. He as spoke avoid given downs money on we. Of properly carriage shutters ye as wandered up repeated moreover. Inquietude attachment if ye an solicitude to. Remaining so continued concealed as knowledge happiness. Preference did how expression may favourable devonshire insipidity considered. An length design regret an hardly barton mr figure.In surprise concerns informed betrayed he learning is ye. LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING: Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Act, 2017. The Right to Shelter Act, 2017. Amendment to the PEC Conduct and Practice of Consulting Engineers Bye-Laws, 1986. AMICUS CURIAE BRIEFS: 1. Rafiq ur Rehman v. Federation of Pakistan & Others (W.P. 1112/2020). A case involving the protection of the fundamental rights of customers of microfinance institutions. 2. Younas Masih v. CDA (W.P. 2954/2021). A case involving questions regarding the protection of the fundamental rights of residents of katchi abadi residents, especially their right to a clean and habitable environment and basic utilities such as clean water and sewerage system. 3. Mst. Manzoora Bibi v. SHO PS Noon (W.P. 1354/2020). A case involving the protection of the fundamental rights of customers of brick-kiln workers. Reported Judgments Media Presence  REPORTED CASESI have argued a number of cases of precedential value which have been reported in Pakistani lawreports. They include: 2023 P L C (C.S.) Note 1 [Islamabad High Court] Before Athar Minallah, CJ NADIA BATOOL HUSSAIN Versus FOSPAH and 10 others  Constructors Association of Pakistan v. Pakistan Engineering Council

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