Pakistan: 20 held after litigants clash in pitched battle at sessions court


The sessions court on Saturday became a battlefield as two parties pursuing a criminal case scuffled with each other and also thrashed lawyers.

The miscreants, dozens in number, used fists and kicks besides ransacking the furniture of the makeshift chambers of some lawyers. They also attacked each other with empty glass bottles of cold drinks. Several of them suffered minor injuries.

Advocate Hassaan Niazi said there was no one to stop the perpetrators as they put the lives of lawyers and litigants in danger. He said the culprits threw glass bottles and other solid articles on each other, which created panic on court premises.

Niazi said the police personnel deputed at the sessions court failed to respond to the situation timely. He said such incidents had become the order of the day due to the absence of the state’s writ.

Later, a team of the Islampura police reached the spot and arrested 20 miscreants from both parties. The police also registered a case on the complaint of a lawyer against the arrested persons and others. The FIR contains charges under section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 in addition to the offences under the provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Lahore Bar Association President Rao Sami told Dawn that the bar had taken an exception to the incident and would ensure that the culprits were brought to justice. He said several options had been discussed in meetings with Lahore’s sessions judge and police higher-ups to control these incidents of hooliganism on court premises.

He said the meetings proposed SOPs for the litigants visiting courts on a daily basis. He said the influx of the citizens in courts in the shape of large groups to support their dear ones pursuing or facing criminal cases was a matter of serious concern.

Sami said the bar resolved to show zero tolerance against the violators of law and order. He said entry of unwarranted people would be banned soon. He said persons other than the parties in a case should not be permitted to enter courts.