SHC urged to order resumption of court operations

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The Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) has urged the Sindh High Court (SHC) to order the resumption of routine court operations, which have been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak in March. Addressing a press conference, SHCBA President Farhad Ali Abro said that the suspension of court operations for the last four months had not only affected litigants but lawyers as well. He claimed that the federal and provincial governments had announced financial support packages for various segments of the society, but the legal fraternity was overlooked despite repeated requests. Abro pointed to a recent decision of the Pakistan Bar Council, which also called for the resumption of legal operations and court work with the adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, adding that similar directives had also been issued by the Supreme Court. He observed that the development would also provide relief to the plaintiffs who had been suffering due to the four-month-long hiatus. “Model criminal trial courts, civil, session and other courts of law should be allowed to resume work under SOPs,” he appealed. According to Abro, under-trial prisoners and those involved in cases that were in the final stages of prosecution had been particularly disturbed by the prolonged suspension. Meanwhile, several senior lawyers also held a protest demonstration outside the civil court, with Advocate ImdadUnar asserting that the closure of courts for the last four months had plunged them in financial straits. Meanwhile, another lawyer, ZiauddinShaikh, stated they were ready to follow any SOPs defined by the government, as long as the courts were allowed to function. The lawyers pointed out that their clients were equally worried due to the suspension of the routine court operations for such a long duration.

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