Lawyers end long strike as ordinance repeals CCP amendments

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10 site offices of illegal housing schemes sealed

PESHAWAR: The lawyers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday called off their strike after the promulgation of an ordinance to repeal the amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1908.

The KP Bar Council took the decision after discussing the ordinance promulgated by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on November 12 to repeal certain amendments to Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1908. The amendments had triggered province-wide protests by lawyers since December last year. The KP Bar Council had sought the promulgation of the new ordinance and asked the government to pass it from the assembly at the earliest. It had also asked the government to take the lawyers’ bodies into confidence while making legislation regarding the Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism. Meanwhile, the KP Bar Council announced that Monday will be the third day of mourning on the death of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court, Waqar Ahmad Seth and no lawyer will appear before any court.

The lawyers’ bodies have been protesting for months, saying the amendments to CPC had changed the century-old procedure for the conduct of civil adjudication. They said the amendments changed the procedure of trials, appeals, review, revision, conduct of cases especially manner, procedure and forum of recording of evidence as well as disturbing the hierarchy for determination of appeals. Last week the government presented the mutually agreed draft before the court and sent a summary for cabinet approval. The lawyers’ representatives said the draft may not be the ideal one or unprecedented but in the given circumstances and respective positions this was the best possible workable solution that would help end miseries of the parties. It may be mentioned that after the protests prolonged, a number of meetings were held between the government and the lawyers’ representative bodies. A committee was constituted for negotiations that comprised the provincial minister for law, secretary law, and the advocate general of the province.

The KP Bar Council and a team of experts headed by senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, Muhammad Faheem Wali, represented the lawyers. Khalilullah Khalil, Haji Haleem, Shah Baros Khan and Tanvir Mughal were active members of the committee that represented the lawyers. The negotiations to end protests were started and as an initial measure operation/ enforcement of the amending act was delayed through an ordinance in January 2020 till April 15. It was further delayed through an extension till July 15 because the negotiations got halted due to Covid-19. The two parties resumed the negotiations by holding meetings to discuss various clauses of the proposed act to make it viable for the general public and mitigate their miseries. The meetings finally resulted in an agreed draft/ amendment that was presented by the KP secretary law before the Peshawar High Court last week. It was later passed by the provincial cabinet.

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