Lawyers play most important role in the society and help in administration and dispensation of justice and generally fight against injustice and tyranny. The Advocate is called as an Officer of the Court. Bench (comprising Judges) and the Bar (comprising Lawyers) are exemplified as two wheels of train of justice which are inseparable and cannot achieve the goal of justice without aid and assistance of each other. So the Lawyers are indispensable towards judicial system and advancement of justice in the society. Lawyers are neither less qualified in education nor in experience than a Judge. A Judge is to decide a matter and a Lawyer is to plead. Both are performing their parallel duties towards administration of justice. Lawyers have been playing vital role not only in dispensation of justice rather maintaining and upholding the democratic norms in the Country. So they deserve special attention for their dignified recognition, consideration and accommodation by the Government.
In nutshell, the Lawyers demand the following rights and incentives which are presently called a Draft of Charter of Demands of Lawyers, liable to be introduced through a Bill in the National Assembly and to be implemented as an Act, named as the Legal Services Act. It may be implemented through an independent Act or by amending the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973.
A: Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance and Law Graduate Allowance:
a- Law Graduate Allowance = Rs. 30,000/- (liable to be increased)
from the date of passing the examination till he gains employment or register as an Advocate.
b-Advocates’ Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance = Rs. _______(Half Basic Salary of a
Gazetted Officer BS-17) for 3 years.
1a- Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance = Rs. _____ (Half of Basic Salary of a Gazetted Officer
BS-18) for 3+ to 7 years
1b.-Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance = Rs. ______(Half of Basic Salary of a Gazetted Officer
BS-19) for 7+ to 10 years.
1c-Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance = Rs. _______ (Half of Basic Salary of a Gazetted Officer
BS-20) for 10+ to 15 years.
1d-Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance = Rs. _______ ( Half of Basic Salary of Gazetted Officer
BS-21) for 15+ to 20 years.
1e-Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance= Rs.________ (Half of Basic Salary of a Gazetted Officer
BS-22) for 20+ till retirement.
B- Govt. Accommodation or house rent allowance:
- All registered Lawyers, Advocates and practicing Lawyers must be provided free Government accommodation equivalent to the category for which they are entitled for Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance according to Government Pay Scales.
- All kinds of Utility Bills of the Advocates must be free as to the Judicial Officers.
C- On Being Incapable To Practice Due To Any Reason;
A minimum amount of Rs. 10 million (increasable) be awarded to the Lawyer who is unable to carry practice or so happened in lump-sum and in case of sudden death during practice his family must be paid a compensatory amount of Rs. 15 million (increasable) in lump-sum promptly. Legal practice/judicial allowance must be continued in case of incapacity.
D- Medical Facility and Allowance:
All Lawyers must be provided Free Medical Facility and to their family members and dependents as per their eligibility equivalent to the scales of Officers of Government of Pakistan in all Government and Private Standard Hospitals, Free of Cost and at the Government expense alongwith all tests and medical expenses of whatever kind or nature. Expenses incurred on private treatment must be refunded to the Lawyers by the Government.
All Lawyers must be insured and their benefits of Insurance be payable on maturity of their schemes or on their incapacity or retirement alongwith other benefits and allowances. Group Insurance and Benevolent Funds amounts must be increased to millions.
Pensionary Benefits must be granted to all the Lawyers at the age of 60 for advocates of Lower Courts/High Court and at the age of 65 for the advocates of Supreme Court of Pakistan according to their eligibility to the equivalent Govt. scale. However, option should be with Lawyer, as to when he so wishes to retire. This aspect of pension is also being considered by the Govt. of India for their Lawyers.
G- Attestation Authority:
All registered advocates must be recognized as an attestation authority to sign and stamp all documents where attestation of Grade-17 or Grade-18 is required.
H- Power of Justice of Peace,
Every registered Lawyer must be recognized as honourary Justice of Peace in his Area, he should have the authority to inspect Police Station and redress the grievance of any citizen on his own or on a complaint if any innocent citizen unlawfully kept under lock up by Police or Police illegality.
I- Lawyers Community Clubs:
There must be Lawyers Clubs in every Tehsil and District Level, where Lawyers Community can avail their recreational activities, the sites and buildings must be allocated by the relevant Governments under the supervision of the Bar concerned.
J- Lawyers’ Colonies:
Residential Colonies must be established for Lawyers on ownership basis on nominal charges and provide low cost residential facilities in dignified manners and on affordable installments alongwith provision of loans free of interest.
- Lawyer’s Hospital:
Special Lawyer’s Hospitals must be established at least at District Level with all latest medical facilities for the Lawyers and their families and dependents.
L- Lawyers’ Schools and Universities:
- Lawyers School at every Tehsil level must be established where the Lawyers children have latest education.
- Lawyers University:
Lawyers Universities must be established at all provincial and capital level.
M- Lawyers’ Son Quota:
25 % Lawyers son/daughter Quota must be fixed in all Law Colleges and Universities.
N- Legal Advisory:
All companies and Firms must be compelled to engage a Legal Advisor at minimum monthly retainer-ship of Rs. 50,000/- per month (increasable) and the Law must be strictly implemented.
O- Documentation and Agreements:
All documentation and Agreements between two or more parties must be vetted and countersigned by a registered Advocate and no document and agreement is to be treated as valid until and unless vetted and countersigned by an Advocate and Stamped. Appropriate Fee not less than Rs. 1000/- as per nature of the document and its value be charged.
P- Humiliation and Defamation:
Humiliation, dishonor and disrespect of a Lawyer and Lawyers community must be treated as offence, actionable and punishable like contempt of Court.
Lawyers Chambers, Houses and Vehicles must be exempted from search by Police even through search warrant of any competent authority. Similarly, Lawyer must be exempted from arrest and detention and must never be handcuffed in any situation. In serious allegations or heinous offence, arrest may be made with prior approval of the Bar Council/Bar Association concerned, which will grant permission after thorough probe and inquiry.
R- Finance and Loans:
Lawyers must be awarded facility of interest free loans from the Banks and Financial Institutions minimum Rs. 5 million or upwards with easy and affordable installments and house building loans etc. must also be afforded to the Lawyers indiscriminately.
S- Higher Studies:
Any Lawyer or his son desirous of higher studies and qualification within or outside country must be afforded with all facilities and scholarships and his Legal Practice/Judicial Allowance must not be deducted or withdrawn during his studies.
Lawyers have been fighting for others and have sacrificed their lives for the cause of justice, rule of Law, independence of judiciary and establishment of democracy and democratic norms but now they have to fight and struggle for their own rights and dignity of profession, as the Lawyers are eligible and entitled for equal treatment, incentives and compensation.
This Charter of demand may be carried as Movement and taken by All the Bars at Tehsil, District and Provincial and Federal level, Bar Councils and Pakistan Bar Council and get implemented through enactment.
Initiator and originator of Charter of Demands of Lawyers, Advocate Ch. Abdur Rahman Nasir Burm, C.E.O.(Legal), Proficient Lawyers, Islamabad, Pakistan.