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Indo-Canadian senator urged to resign

January 24, 2008 22:09 IST

Indo-Canadian senator and lawyer Mobina Jaffer is under pressure to resign following charges that she allegedly over-billed her client.

British Columbia senator Jaffer has been called before the Law Society of BC for allegedly charging a client more than 6 million Canadian dollars between 2000 and 2004. Her fee included charges for 30 hours of work in a single day.

"These allegations are very serious," NDP House Leader Libby Davies said.

"I just couldn't believe it, that someone would be billing so much, for more hours than there are in the day. I feel that she should step aside as a senator and as a lawyer until this is resolved. She is in a position of public trust in both positions," Davies said.

Jaffer, 58, is the first Muslim woman to be appointed a senator and a former immigration lawyer. She was not available for comments.

Steve Schachter, representing Jaffer and her son, said: "My clients intend to co-operate fully in investigation. And they are hopeful that this matter can be resolved expeditiously.And in the interim, it would not be appropriate for them to comment."

The year Jaffer was appointed a Liberal senator, in 2001, she was allegedly charging the Oblates of Mary Immaculate 450 dollars an hour.

The New Westminster-based missionary order had hired Jaffer to defend them against dozens of sexual-abuse claims from the time they ran residential schools, media reports said.

But in April 2005, the Oblates sued Jaffer's firm, Dohm Jaffer and Jeraj, in British Columbia Supreme Court for over-billing, which came to the attention of the law society.

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