ISLAMABAD: The lawyers’ movement demanding the resignation of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi for his alleged involvement in illegal appointments has been challenged in the IHC. The movement aimed at getting benefits in the upcoming elections of the bar associations, petitioner Sher Afzal Khan Marwat, a member of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA), stated in his plea, challenging the ongoing lawyers’ movement against the IHC chief justice. The petitioner adopted the stance that a movement to defame judges of the apex court was a contempt of court. The decisions on reference against judges should be made on merit, he further added. He prayed the court to direct the Islamabad Bar Council (IBC) to stop lawyers from delivering speeches against judges and courts. The petitioner asked the court to declare the protest march of lawyers against judges from F-8 Kachehri to the Supreme Court “illegal”, saying that no one was authorised to pressurise honourable judges for resignation. He requested the court to issue directives to the Islamabad police inspector general (IG) to register a first information report (FIR) against elements involved in hatching a conspiracy against the judges. IHCBA General Secretary Waqas Malik, Arif Chaudhry advocate and others have been made respondents in the case. When contacted, Sher Afzal Khan Marwat said the current protests should not be called lawyers’ movement, and added that a few people had launched this campaign against judges. The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), IBC and the IHCBA had launched a movement, demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Anwar Kasi after the Supreme Court on September 26 declared several appointments in the IHC illegal and observed that the appointments had been made in violation of rules. On Wednesday, the lawyers marched from F-8 Kachehri to the Supreme Court while chanting slogans, demanding accountability in the judicial system. However, the protesters were not allowed to enter the premises of the Supreme Court. The representatives of the PBC announced to come up with a new protest strategy if the IHC chief justice did not resign from the post within a week. The lawyers also demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali to decide various references against the judges before his retirement. Talking to Daily Times, IHCBA General Secretary Waqas Malik said the above petition was baseless and an attempt to malign the lawyers’ forums. The petitioner was instigated by certain elements for their patty gains, he alleged. He said that the IHCBA would adopt a new strategy to protest in the premises of the IHC from next week. He said that the campaign would continue until the resignation of the IHC chief justice. Waqas said that various references against IHC judges – including Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Noorul Haq N Qureshi, Mohsan Akhtar Kiani and Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi – were pending before the Supreme Judicial Council. He said that law must be equal for everyone, and members of the judiciary must be held accountable to ensure justice in society.