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Rule of law: Senior lawyer beats up elderly woman ‘for not vacating his chair’

By Rana Tanveer

Lawyer claims the woman had a bad reputation, he feared being tainted by association.

LAHORE: A senior member of the Lahore High Court Bar Association on Thursday severely beat up an elderly woman because she had taken a chair in the bar compound which he claimed belonged to him.

The woman said she believed the chair belonged to the bar canteen and that she was sitting there waiting for another lawyer.

Advocate Nasir Khan Banuzai, however, alleged that the woman was a pimp. He said he beat her up because she wasn’t vacating his seat and that he could not risk being associated with her.

A waiter at the bar canteen, who was an eyewitness to the scene, said Banuzai pushed Bushra Syeda, 60, a Bund Road resident, off the chair and beat her with a shoe following a short argument. He said the woman kept calling out for help but for about 10 to 15 minutes no one dared to stop the advocate.

Syeda told The Express Tribune that the lawyer started beating her when she asked him why he wanted her to leave the seat as it did not belong to him.

She said the lawyer shouted at her and beat her with his shoe. She claimed that the chair had been brought from the bar canteen and was not owned by the lawyer.

The woman said later she went to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and LHCBA president Asghar Ali Gill to complain against the lawyer but they were not present in their offices.

She said she would not take her complaint to the police because they were helpless against the lawyers. “Lawyers are influential. No policeman will dare taking action against them,” she said.

Syeda said she had come to the court to meet a lawyer who had earlier fought her daughter’s divorce case. She said the lawyer had not charged any fee and had promised to help her in future as well. She said she had run out of money and had come to seek some assistance from the lawyer. However, she did not identify that lawyer.

Syeda said about a year ago she used to visit the court quite regularly bringing clients for the lawyers in return for a nominal commission but had now stopped doing it.

Advocate Nasir alleged that the woman was a pimp and that she had a reputation for coming to the court to attract customers. He said he had to beat her up because he did not want to be associated to her. Nasir said that before he beat her up, he requested her several times to leave the seat but she refused.

He said he did not file a complaint against her in the court because women were given undue favours especially after the promulgation of Women Protection Act.

Bar canten staff remembered several incidents of lawyers beating people. They said no action had yet been taken against any lawyer involved in such incidents.

Source: The Express Tribune

Date:3/25/2011

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