Asma group wins SCBA top slot

LAHORE: Shahzad Shaukat of the Independent Group of lawyers, also known as `Asma Jahangir group`, has been elected president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for the year 2023-24.

Shaukat secured an easy victory against Mian Abdul Ouddus of Hamid Khan-led Professional Group in a one-on-one contest with a considerable margin of votes on Tuesday.

According to unofficial results, Shaukat obtained 613 votes at the Lahore registry alone and his rival could bag only 452.

Both presidential candidates were from Lahore since the top slot this year was reserved for Punjab province as per a rotation policy.

In his victory speech, Shaukat vowed to support every action aimed at upholding the rule of law in the country. He said becoming a party to every case before the courts was against the stature of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

`I personally do not endorse the bar becoming a party to every case. The purpose of the bar is to work for the welfare of the lawyers and the legal reforms,` he said as former federal law minister Azam Nazir Tarar and former SCBA president Ahsan Bhoon stood beside him.

The president-elect said the SCBA would play its role for the enforcement of fundamental rights and resolution to the issues the lawyers faced professionally from the trial court to the Supreme Court. He said the bar`s actions would not have any political impression or impact.

Shaukat said the election was a war between professional lawyers and the mafia and the professional lawyers played a significant role in his victory. He vowed to fulfill the expectations of the professional lawyers.

The supporters of the winning candidates danced to the drum beats and distributed sweets in jubilation.

The PML-N was the main ally of the Independent Group from among the political parties. The Independent Group also notched the slot of the secretary as its candidate Ali Salman Syed defeated Salman Mansoor of the Professional Group.

Umar Hayat Sindhu and Sardar Shahbaz Ali Khan of the Professional Group were elected vice president on the Punjab seat and additional secretary, respectively.

The result on the remaining seats was awaited when this report was filed.

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