History of Multan and of Lahore High Court’s Bench at Multan
of Multan is City of Saints and a fort of Spiritual Culture and
rituals. Its origin is about 5000 years. It was rich in its culture
and a civilization contemporary to Moen-Jo-daro, Harrpa and Kot
D.G. It was sacred city for the natives who lived here, and claimed
to be placed in the centre of the universe. It is a pride that this
is the only living ancient city of Pakistan. A city of monuments,
who’s history dates back to ancient times. As per the legend,
its origin is assigned to the time of Hazrat Noah (A S). Under the
various Hellenic forms of ancient designations (Kasyapapura, Kashtpur,
Hanspur, Bagpur and Mulasthan) Multan figures into works of Hecataeus,
Herodotus and Ptolemy. It has been an empire, a kingdom, a province,
a state, a capital and now only a district headquarter. Thousands
years after Macedonians, the conquerors of Multan present an amazing
variety of races: Graeco-Bactrians are followed by the Kushans who
in turn give place to White Hans. The Arab first arrived here in
662 A.D. and it came under Muslims rule in around 712. In this back
ground in history, the ultimate importance was given by the Arabs
who established their possession in 749 Hijra. Till today this has
been a cultural, educational, spiritual Hub of the region.
Multan also remained under Karmatians, Lodhis, and Ghaznivids. Between
1221 and 1528, ten conquers swept through the city till it finally
fell in the hands of Mughals in 1528. Under the Mughal rulers, Multan
enjoyed years of peace and prosperity. Nawab Muzzafar Khan remained
in power from 1779 to 1818, when Ranjit Sing stormed the city. After
a resolute defense, British captured Multan on 22 January 1849.
From Alexander to Aurangzeb the city was built, damaged, repaired,
destroyed, demolished, and reconstructed many times. After the British
rule, partition once again changed the face of the city and it witnessed
the new demographic and socio-economic order in 1947. Multan has
been reinventing itself ever since.
Its, historical, political, economical, cultural and geographical
boundaries had been including Jhang, Sargodha, Mianwali, Kala Bagh,
Dera Ismaeel Khan, Becaniar, Jeeslameer stretching towards Pakpattan
and Sakkhar. Later on due to administrative easements these boundaries
were constricted to this extent that today Multan is only name of
one district as the concept of division has become non existent
due to the promulgation of new local government system.
Today, there are 'two' Multans. One is the city of inordinate glory
and unique architectural style: imposing citadel, Agha Khan International
Architecture Award winner Shrine of Saint Shah Rukhan-i-Alam and
shrines of Baha-Ud-din Zikaryya, Shah Yousaf Gardaiz (also other
shrines of religious, architectural, and historic values). It is
a city of calligraphers, writers and poets who make difference in
the lives and outlooks of others. The other Multan is a soot-choked
city (spread over 28 square kilometers area) developed haphazardly
without any planning and foresight. This is a city where old trees
are ruthlessly cut and all the open spaces have been converted in
jungle of concrete in the last 55 years.
The walled city - one of the living examples of old Muslim urbanization
in the world - is crumbling. Refuse is everywhere, the air thick
with flies. Electric connections are loose and dangerous wires are
hanging about. The narrow streets are dark at night. As you roam
about in the old city called androon shehr, you will see aged palace-like
havellies, shrines, remains of defensive walls, historic gateways,
and mosques in the most unexpected places. That is Multan's charm.
There are probably more heritage sites in Multan than in all of
Pakistan, that is why this city should be recognized by UNESCO as
a "World City of Heritage".
There are Six severing historic gates (Lohari, Bohar, Haram, Pak,
Delhi and Daolat gate), Hussain Agahi (main entrance of old city),
Khooni Burg (bloody tower), remains of the wall, and Alang (ring
road) around the medieval Old City.
After creation of Pakistan, as per some records, keeping into view
the geographical placement of this city there was a proposal to
make this city the capital of Pakistan. The Ruling Janta has vested
interests to ignore the importance of people of this area. Resultantly
today the conditions as to the poverty, hunger, and ignorance is
below the subsistence line and reached untold proportions. Ruling
class who controls politics, economy, educational atmosphere, the
socio culture aspiration of the people of the region has not attended
is a criminal neglect on their part.
OF MULTAN BENCH
West Pakistan High Court by virtue
of Order 8 of 1970, (as agreed by Four provinces of Pakistan) was
re-constituted, as below.
a. High Court for North West Frontier Province, called Peshawar
b. High Court for Province of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory,
called Lahore High Court.
c. High Court for Balouchistan and Sindh, called Sindh & Balouchistan
High Court, and was conferred all powers vested in the High Court
for West Pakistan.
d. Circuit Courts were also re-cognized and were defined in the
said order No.8 of 1970.
Without any hard move (although it was the dire need of the time
to enforce the concept of door step and inexpensive justice and
to establish new High Courts and Benches), through High Courts Establishment
Order (Punjab amendment) Ordinance 1 of 1981, through which above
President’s Order of 1970 was amended, foundation of establishment
of Benches at Bahawalpur, Multan and Rawalpindi was laid. It was
issued by the Governor of Punjab, on 1st January, 1981.
Through 8th amendment of Constitution
of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Article 198 was re-framed, giving
constitutional status to Benches and reframing provisions regarding
powers of the Chief Justice and Governor of Punjab viz a viz Territorial
Jurisdiction of the Benches, under Article 198 (4), on the advice
of Cabinet and consultation with the Chief Justice of the Lahore
High Court, the Governor was authorized to create Benches and other
places as well, while the existing Benches were given constitutional
status under its sub Article (3) with respect to nomination of Judges,
its sub clause (5) authorized Chief Justice, in respect of area
of jurisdiction of each Bench, Sub Article (6) authorized the Governor
of the Punjab, who in consultation with the Chief Justice of the
High Court, has authority to make rules to:
(a). assigning the area in relation to which, each bench shall exercise
jurisdiction vested in the High Court.
(b). for all incidental, supplemental matters.
Consequently, as provided in Articles 198 (6), the Governor of Punjab,
framed Rules called “Lahore High Court(Establishments of Benches)
Rules 1981. Rule 9 provides:
“The area assigned to Bench, shall be its Civil Divisions:
provided in the interest of justice or efficient working of the
Bench , as it is considered necessary. The Chief Justice with the
Prior approval of the Governor, make adjustment in the above areas.”
Rule 11, also provides: that Chief Justice may from time to time
pass such orders as is considered necessary for the efficient working
of the Benches.
It is pertinent to mention here that area assigned to Multan Bench
on its creation was revenue limits of the then D.G. Khan and Multan
Division. It is also worth mentioning here that at that time Okara
was also included in Multan Division as sub division of Sahiwal
District. This creation of Benches particularly creation of Multan
Bench was not digested by the person sitting at the helm of the
affairs . A Writ Petition was filed against the creation of Benches
at Lahore High Court, Lahore which is still pending adjudication
(It is only the honour of Lahore High Court Bar Association otherwise
no such writ petition was filed by any other Bar Association is
When through that Writ Petition
the petitioners i.e. Lahore High Court Bar Association, Lahore and
others could not get the decision of creation of the Benches annulled.
In order to achieve their nefarious design they made a plan to paralyze
Multan Bench and to take back different areas assigned to the same.
Firstly sub division Okara was given
status of district and was detached from Multan Division and attached
with Lahore Division, after its attachment with Lahore Division
automatically it came under territorial jurisdiction of Principal
Seat at Lahore. There after the fiscal limit of the Multan bench
was reviewed and all the regular first appeals valuing more than
Rs.50,00,000/- were withdrawn from Multan Bench. Moreover the cases
pertaining to the land reforms, corporate law and environmental
issues were taken back to the principal seat. Option was given to
litigant to file the appeal against death penalty at Principal Seat
or at Bench to made this offer more lucrative from last one year.
Honourable Judges having specialty of deciding criminal cases and
corporate work are not being posted at Multan Bench which has resulted
into piling of cases miseries of the people have enhance to so many
times. Honourable Senior Judges feel insulted in posting at Multan.
Elevation from Multan Bench has been stopped so many years. Under
this miserable condition not only lawyer’s of South Punjab
are strongly to get justice for the people but also for the existence
of Multan Bench.
That an other havoc was played in
the year 2003 when District Pakpattan through a notification by
the Governor of Punjab was detached from Multan Bench and was given
under jurisdiction of Principal Seat.
Now Mr. Muhammad Arshad Lodhi Minister
of Punjab has announced that it has been decided that from the first
day of new year i.e. 2007 Sahiwal District would be part and parcel
of Lahore High Court.
The Bar is greatly concerned with
the conduct, attitude and actions taken by the vested interests
sitting at Lahore in collaboration with bureaucrats and a class
who do not realize the ground realities as well as the importance
of the creation of Lahore High Court Multan Bench Multan. It has
now become abundantly clear that in a planed manner the Bench at
Multan is being gradually deprived of its efficient working in dispensing
justice and getting grievance of the public of the region adjudged.
HOW HIGH COURT BAR ASSOCIATI0N
CAME INTO BEING:
its inception early in the year 1981, in the wake of the Setting
up of a Bench of the High Court at Multan, this Bar Association
had a remarkable share of the usual birth-pangs attending any new
institution. Our problems were multi-pronged and in abundance. But
they were faced and fought out manfully, gleefully and with the
fondness and doting characteristic of a heart-felt welcome to a
For several months that tin-roofed garage-cum-cycle stand, in yonder
south-western corner of the present High Court building, was our
“prestigious” Bar Room; our FURNITURE comprised just
about 20 rickety chairs hired from a local tent house; we had no
such thing as a LIBRARY; and the luxury known as CANTEEN, had been
completely written off.
Lawyers are always an organized section of Society and perhaps no
other people are more interested in getting their activities and
affairs properly defined and channelised Even at a time when the
members were in outright shambles, they lost no time in forming
a CONVENING COMMITTEE comprising of Ch. Abdul Latif Amritsari (Chairman),
Mr. Muhammad YounusBhatti (Secretary), Peer Muhammad Rafiudden Shah,
Agha Ali Ahmad, Maulvi Irfan Ahmad Ansari, Rana Abdul Rahim Khan,
Kanwar Akhtar Ali, Mirza Mansoor Ahmed, Mian Abdul Aziz, Maulvi
Muhammad Faizan, Syed Sardar Shah Bukhari, Sh.Khizar Hayat, (Now
Mr.Justice) Mr.Suleman Ali Saigal, Mr.Taj Muhammad Khan Langah,
Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, Mr. Hameed Azhar Malik, Mr. Riaz
Khan Babar, Mrs. Fakharun Nisa Khokhar, Syed Shamasuddin Mahmood,
Kanwar Muhammad Younus, Mian Abbas Ahmad. These initiative and devotion
carried out the initial work for the formation of a regular Bar
Association. One of the first and foremost step taken by this Committee
was framing of a constitution of the Association, for which purpose
sub-committee was constituted, manned by Maulvi Mohammad Faizan,
Mr.Taj Mohammad Khan Langah, Mrs.Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar, Ch. Pervaiz
Aftab, Mr. Muhammad Younus Bhatti(secretary) and Ch. Abdul Latif
with the requirements of the moment and the spirit of the time,
the draft was prepared with the speed and efficacy of the proverbial
magic wand. After a few readings in the General House, the draft
was approved, of course, with a few amendments here and there, and
long, while actual summer had not yet set in, we started having
the first feel of the proverbial heat of Multan which found, as
its ally, the tin roof of the Bar Room. We braced all these hazards,
without any fret or frown, shaking off, for a while, all those ostentations
that are usually associated with the Bar and its members. The tin-shed
was the green wood tree, holding out King Lear’s invitation
to all sundry “to come hither”. Learned Members of the
Bars around readily responded to the call and a galaxy of lawyers
from Lahore, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, D. G. Khan and Vehari etc. flocked
in and formed themselves into the nucleus of a regular Bar Association.
The sorry state of affairs did not fail to catch the eye of the
authorities who, well before the advent of summer, placed at our
disposal the half of upper storey of the nearby government building
(known as Public Analyst Building) comprising a small hall and few
rooms around. Mention has been made of this building because it
has vanished into nowhere and posterity might feel embarrassed in
looking out for it in vain. It has since been razed to the ground
and sunk into oblivion, making room for the new High Court Building.
It was, without doubt, a cozy and compact place but we could not
nest there for more than just about a year and a half where after
we were again “displaced” and shifted to another premises,
closer to the High Court building. where we were awfully short of
space and accommodation. The premises comprise of a “Hall”,
measuring just 12’ x 24’, and a few still smaller rooms
around, segregated from each other. Better days were, however, in
sight. In the year 1984, the construction of present building of
High Court was started but it didn’t contain a space for Bar
Room. In the year 1988, due to efforts of the then Bar Association,
the then Chief Minister Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, permitted
the lawyers to establish their Bar Complex in the Highway Rest House.
but the problems still needed to be resolved due to non-availability
of offices between the High Court and Bar Complex. In 1989, the
Government of Pakistan granted Rs.8,40,000/- for the construction
of Bar Room by the endless efforts of the Bar Association. Keeping
in view the future requirements, approval for the extension of Hall
and establishment of library in the basement, the Bar Association
moved to get Rs.80 lacs from the Government of Pakistan. In 1991,
the Bar Association initiated the construction of Library building.
Funds were transferred and the tenders were invited for the construction
of Library. In 1993, the Bar Association endeavored to start construction
of present building ‘de novo’, and during that era,
Prime Minister, Mr. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, laid the foundation
of Bar Hall on January 2, 1993. In March 1995, the construction
of Bar Hall was completed. In October, 1995 on stale demand of the
Bar Association, Lahore High Court approved a pavement between the
High Court and Aiwan-e-Qanoon, as per proposal made by the them
MIT. It was the year 1998 when handsome funds were granted by the
then Government of Punjab, there after it took two years to convert
the basement of bar hall into one of the most beautiful library
of the country.