Lawyers with fake degrees

THE Supreme Court, on Thursday, ordered verification of degrees of all lawyers enrolled during the last ten years. A three-member Bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar, also asked the universities to complete the process within the stipulated time and sought a report about non-affiliated law colleges as well.
There have been reports that a number of lawyers were practicing law without holding valid LLB degrees and this prompted the apex court to take suo motu notice of the situation a few weeks back. The court had issued directions to all Bar Councils in this regard and asked Higher Education Commission to extend necessary cooperation to them but it seems the progress of verification is very slow. In the past too, some Bars vowed to take action against fake degree holders but the process never reached to the logical conclusion. It has been reported that lawyers are not cooperating with Bars in this regard as they ignore repeated requests for provision of their degrees for verification for understandable reasons. In this backdrop, a deadline should be given to all lawyers to deposit their testimonials with the relevant Bars failing which disciplinary action should be taken against them.
According to some lawyers, fake degree holders play a role during the election of Bar Associations so a number of lawyers do not want the process of verification to be started. The issue needs to be addressed thoroughly and urgently as fake degree holders are not only depriving professional lawyers of their clients but also manage to grab posts such as Standing Counsels, Deputy Attorney Generals and Prosecutors and in one such case a lawyer succeeded to get appointment as Additional Prosecutor General of Punjab before it transpired that his legal qualifications were fake. The Chief Justice may direct Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to verify degrees of doctors as well.

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