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Punjab Bar Council
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Whereas it is expedient & necessary with the object of providing Free Legal Aid to indigent litigants, the Punjab Bar Council in exercise of its powers conferred by section 9(2) read with section 56 of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973 [Act XXXV of 1973] & all others enabling provisions in this behalf;

Whereas the Punjab Bar Council in its meeting held on 1st of April 2006, has decided to constitute a Free Legal Aid Committee on permanent basis for providing Free Legal Aid to indigent litigants, the Vice Chairman and the Chairman Executive Committee under the Powers and Authority conferred on them by the General House in its meetings held on 28 January 2006 have constituted a special Free Legal Aid Committee on permanent basis on 1st April 2006;

And now in exercise of the powers vested in the Committee under Rule 4.7 of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Rules 1974, the following Free Legal Aid Programme is hereby notified:

Introduction

In Pakistan, the Punjab Bar Council came into being as a result of the promulgation of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973 (ACT XXXV of 1973) dated 22nd February 1973. The Punjab Bar Council is a non-governmental organization, which is an autonomous body, established and recognized by statutory law. It raises its funds on self-help basis for its functioning and achivement of its objectives. Its' funds are managed, administred and utilized by its prescribed rules and also audited by the Chartered Accountants.

The Punjab Bar Council consists of 75 Members elected by 41701 registered voter-member Advocates across the Province of Punjab, for a term of five years. The Punjab Bar Council internally elects its office-holders amongst its members, a Vice-Chairman and a Chairman Executive Committee, every year. Advocate-General of the Punjab is its Ex-Officio Chairman. This Organization conducts its business through Committee system, relating to their respective subjects, constituted by the General-House of the Punjab Bar Council.

The Punjab Bar Council, owing an effective platform, starts from the grassroots level and goes upto provincial level. All of its functions are performed through its Secretariat according to a systematic procedure, headed over by the Secretary of the Punjab Bar Coucil. It has an organized audit system that ensures check and balance at every level, according to the rules.

The Punjab Bar Council has the following Bar Associations registered with it;

  1. 73 Sub-Divisional Bar Associations and 35 District Bar Associations, at grass-root level.
  2. 4 High Court Bench's Bar Associations, including Lahore High Court Bench, Rawalpindi High Court Bench, Multan High Court Bench and Bahawalpur High Court Bench, across the Province.
The Punjab Bar Council has maintained the record of all its registered Members, which is available online also. This organisation functions democratically at all Sub-Divisional, District and Provincial Level, which has neither been disturbed nor discontinued since its beginning. All Bar Associations elect their office-holders for a term of one year. These Bar Associations conduct free and fair elections democratically every year at their respective grassroots levels.

The Punjab Bar Council has organized itself all over the Province at grassroots level, which is working according to its statutory functions. Implementation of human rights, inexpensive dispensation of justice and providing free legal aid to indigent litigants are included amongst other statutory functions of the Punjab Bar Council. Now the Punjab Bar Council has decided to focus on the above-mentioned functions, keeping inline itself according to the wishes of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

In this respect, the Punjab Bar Council while exercising its powers has constituted a special Free Legal Aid Committee on permanent basis, on April 1st, 2006. Furthermore, the Free Legal Aid Committee under the law, while exercising its powers, has notified the Free Legal Aid Programme on April 20th, 2006, available on www.pbbarcouncil.com.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan such an effective, comprehensive and long lasting Programme has been worked out, resulting a large scale mobilization among the legal fraternity in the Province, to ensure the dispensation of justice for the needy and helpless persons at grass-roots level, the results of which would certainly be fruitful and long lasting. People at large will be able to get awareness about the existing laws and they would be protected under these laws, which safeguard their basic human and fundamental rights.

Needy people will get free legal aid in the shape of legal services and other expenditures [i.e. Court fee, process fee, copying charges, diet money and conveyance of witness and / or all other related charges] through the Organisation of the Punjab Bar Council in the real sense.

In order to achieve the said goals and fulfillment of its financial needs, your's kind co-operation, which will be fruitful for the well-being of the humanity.


Free Legal Aid Programme

1. NAME AND COMMENCEMENT:
  1. This Programme shall be called The Punjab Bar Council Free Legal Aid Programme (Pb. FLAP).
  2. The Programme shall come into force at once.
2. DEFINITIONS:
  1. “Act” means the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973..
  2. “Programme” means the Free Legal Aid Programme.
  3. “Eligible” means ‘Poor’ ‘Destitute’ ‘Orphan’ ‘Widow’ ‘Indigent’ and “Deserving” person who is entitled to Zakat or person whose financial resources are not sufficient to bear the expenses for engaging an Advocate to prosecute, defend and protect his / her legal right in genuine litigation.
  4. “Provincial Committee” (PFLAC) means the Punjab Free Legal Aid Committee.
  5. “District Committee” means a Committee constituted by Provincial Committee for each District.
  6. “Tehsil Committee” means a Committee constituted by Provincial Committee for each Tehsil.
  7. “Central Free Legal Aid Committee” (CFLAC) means a Committee constituted by the Pakistan Bar Council.
  8. “Court” means High Courts, District Courts, Sub-Divisional Courts, Tribunals, Revenue Courts and includes Board of Revenue and Office of the Provincial Muhtasib (Ombudsman).
  9. “Elected Representatives” means the Member of Punjab Bar Council / President or the Secretary of the Bar Association.
  10. “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Punjab Free Legal Aid Committee (PLFAC).
  11. “Vice Chairman” means the Vice Chairman of the Punjab Bar Council.
3. SCOPE OF THE PROGRAMME:
  1. The Programme aims to promote legal literacy and create awareness at grass root level amongst the general public in order to protect their legal rights through the elected representatives of legal fraternity.
  2. The Programme shall provide Free Legal Aid to poor, destitute, orphan, widows, needy Women, indigent and other deserving litigants involved in the following categories of cases :-
    1. Violation of Fundamental Rights
    2. Public interest litigation.
    3. Illegal Detention.
    4. Political victimization.
    5. Cases of Cruelty against Women.
    6. Cases of Cruelty against forced Child Labour and bounded Labour.
    7. Accidents.
    8. Succession Certificate.
    9. Family Laws.
    10. Ejectment.
    11. Abuse of Power and Authority by the police, law enforcing agency and Executive.
    12. Neglect of duties by Government Departments.
    13. Neglect of duties by District Governments at all levels, violating the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001.
    14. Violation of Police Orders 2002 by the Police
    15. Such other cases or category of cases as may be approved from time to time by the Central Free Legal Aid Committee of Pakistan Bar Council.
  3. This Programme shall provide Free Legal Aid to deserving person(s) or litigant(s) in the High Court or any Tribunal, Authority and / or a Court functioning at Provincial Level including the Provincial Muhtasib and the Courts or Tribunals functioning at district and Tehsil levels
4. PROVINCIAL FREE LEGAL AID COMMITTEE
  1. The Provincial Committee shall consist of not more than Five Members of Punjab Bar Council, including one of its Members as Chairman.
  2. The meeting of the Committee may be convened by the Chairman of Committee (PFLAC) or in case of urgency on requisition by two of its Members.
  3. Decisions of meetings shall be made by a majority of vote and in case of equality of votes the Chairman of the Committee shall have right of casting second vote.
  4. The meeting of the Committee shall ordinary be convened in the Office of the Punjab Bar Council at Lahore or it may be convened at any other place in the Province, when and where necessary.
5. DISTRICT & TEHSIL FREE LEGAL AID COMMITTEES:
  1. The “Provincial Committee” shall constitute District and Tehsil Free Legal Aid Committees in each District and Tehsil with coordination / consultation of the Central Free Legal Aid Committee.
  2. Such Committees may comprise:
    1. Member of Provincial Bar Council from that District duly nominated by the PFLAC.
    2. President and Secretary of District and Tehsil Bar Associations concerned.
    3. Such number of other Advocates as the “Provincial Committee” may determine from time to time.
6. PANEL OF LAWYERS:
  1. The Provincial Committee shall maintain two Panels of lawyers at each District and Tehsil Level i.e.
    1. Voluntary Legal Services Panel
    2. Funded Legal Services Panel
  1. Voluntary Legal Services Panel
    1. Voluntary Legal Services Panel shall consist of the lawyers (regular members of the concerned Bar Associations) who offer to take cases / suits on voluntary basis without any fee.
    2. The Voluntary lawyer shall be highly appreciated in the shape of granting a valuable Certificate of Appreciation issued by Punjab Bar Council, on providing free legal help to the referred indigent litigants under the Programme.
    3. Name and Services of such Volunteer Lawyer will be published in the Annual Report of Punjab Bar Council Free Legal Aid Committee.
    4. Such Appreciation Certificate will be given to the volunteer lawyer in the Annual Convocation conducted by Punjab Bar Council and his / her voluntary appreciated Legal services shall also be conveyed to:-
    1. Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan.
    2. Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Court, the Punjab;
    3. Federal Secretary of Law;
    4. Secretary Law of Punjab Province;
    5. Concerned Bar Association.
    6. Concerned National and International NGO’s for further appreciation

  2. Funded Legal Services Panel
  3. Rates of Professional Fee to funded legal services panel for conducting cases shall be as follow:-
    1. Cases in the High Court:
      1. Detention / Habeas / Bail
        Maximum upto Rs. 8,000/- + Rs. 2,000 misc Rs. 10,000/- total.
      2. Regular Appeal / Writ
        Maximum upto Rs. 10,000/- + Rs. 3,000/- misc. Rs. 13,000/- total
    2. Cases in the Lower Courts:
      1. Bail:-
        Maximum upto Rs. 5,000/- + 1,000/- misc. Rs. 6,000/- total
      2. Regular Suits / Trial:-
        Maximum upto Rs. 8,000/- + Rs. 2,000/- misc. Rs. 10,000/- total
Provided that the services of the Funded Legal Panel may be obtained only where the services of the Voluntary Legal Panel are not available and it shall be subject to availability of sufficient funds with the Committee.

Provided further that if Provincial Committee or the Chairman (PFLAC) deems it necessary, the services of senior lawyers or experts may be hired in a particular subject in appropriate cases under the Funded Legal Service.

7. HOW TO APPLY
  1. Any person desirous of Free Legal Aid shall submit an application on the simple paper, personally or by mail, to the;
    1. Vice Chairman of the Punjab Bar Council
    2. Chairman Executive Committee
    3. Chairman of the Provincial Committee
    4. Any Member of the Provincial Committee
    5. Office of the Punjab Bar Council though its’ Secretary.
8. APPLICATION FOR FREE LEGAL AID
  1. “Eligible” person shall submit application on the simple paper.
  2. The contents of such application shall be supported by an affidavit of the applicant.
  3. Such application shall also be accompanied by the Judgments / Orders & other necessary documents, providing him the cause of action for or against the suit, appeal or proceedings in a Court of Law.
9. DISPOSAL OF APPLICATION
  1. The application shall be scrutinized by the Provincial Committee and after verification, decide it as soon as possible.
  2. The “Provincial Committee” may verify the eligibility of the applicant through the concerned District and Tehsil Committee and after finalizing / deciding the application, it may issue the sanction letter to the applicant and refer him / her to some learned Advocate for Free Legal Aid.
  3. In case of urgency or the matters of public interest, the Chairman shall be competent to take a decision on its own motion or on the receipt of an application, subject to the approval of the Committee in its next meeting.
10. FUNDS OF COMMITTEE:
The funds of Free Legal Aid Committee shall consist of,
  1. Funds allocated by Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan.
  2. Funds allocated by Pakistan Bar Council.
  3. Funds allocated by Access to Justice Programme.
  4. Funds allocated by Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Court.
  5. Grants by the Federal and Provincial Governments.
  6. Grants by the Local or Other Bodies or Authorities.
  7. Grants / financial aid by the local and International Donor Agencies.
  8. Voluntary contributions.
11. UTILIZATION OF FUNDS
  1. The funds shall be controlled, utilized and distributed only by the Provincial Committee for providing Free Legal Aid, in the light of the Rule (10) of the Pakistan Bar Council Free Legal Aid Rules 1999, to cover any of the following types of expenses:-
    1. Professional fee payable to a panel Advocate of funded Legal Services.
    2. Court fee, process fee, copying charges, diet money and conveyance of witness and / or all other charges payable in the Court or to the Tribunal or Authority concerned for initiating, prosecuting or defending the proceedings in the Court or before the Tribunal or Authority.
  2. The Chairman shall be authorized to make payment of misc. expenses/court fee etc. and part payment of professional fee of an Advocate.
  3. The funds of the Provincial Free Legal Aid Committee shall be deposited in a separate Bank account in a Schedule bank to be approved by the Punjab Bar Council and the account shall be jointly operated by the Chairman of the Provincial Committee and the Vice Chairman of Punjab Bar Council or the Secretary of the Punjab Bar Council.
12. CONTROL OF FREE LEGAL AID PROGRAMME
  1. The Punjab Bar Council may from time to time issue directions to the Provincial Committee for the effective & smooth implementation of the Programme & such directions shall be binding upon the Committee.
  2. The Programme may be amended from time to time by the Punjab Bar Council.
  3. The funds of the Committee shall be spent and regulated as provided in this Programme.
  4. The Provincial Free Legal Aid Committee and the Committees constituted by it shall act in aid, assistance and co-ordination of the Central Free Legal Aid Committee and follow the instructions issued by the Said Committee from time to time.
PROVINCIAL FREE LEGAL AID COMMITTEE (PFLAC)

1. Rana Abdul Shakoor Khan
    Advocate High Court
    Member Punjab Bar Council

Chairman

2. Mr. Muhammad Mazhar Lilla
    Advocate High Court
    Member Punjab Bar Council

Member

3. Mr. Tariq Javed Warraich
    Advocate High Court
    Member Punjab Bar Council

Member

4. Ch. Walayat Ali
    Advocate High Court
    Member Punjab Bar Council

Member

5. Mr. Asif Ali Malik
    Advocate High Court
    Member Punjab Bar Council

Member