SRINAGAR: A day ahead of its elections, J&K High Court Bar Association has been asked by the District Magistrate Srinagar to clarify its stand whether it sees Kashmir as “a dispute or an integral part of the country.”
The Bar Association while responding to the notice issued to it by the DM Srinagar stated that it will “deliberate on the issue tomorrow.” Interestingly, the Bar elections were slated for November 10.
A notice to the Bar Association, a copy of which is with the news agency KNO, reads that Jammu and Kashmir HCBA has reportedly circulated a press note convening election for various office bearers of the association at Srinagar on November 10. “The matter was examined in view of issues related to the subject. The Advocates Act, 1961 defines the details related to required qualifications, admission of advocates on roll, preparation and maintenance of the role, determining issues related to misconduct, safeguarding right, privileges and interests of advocates on roll, promote and support law reforms, constitute a fund for financial assistance and legal etc and a host of other measures related to the delivery of justice as well as the welfare of advocates on a roll,” the notice issued to the president J&K HCBA and Election Committee of JKHBA.
“The JKHCBA Srinagar constitute states the following as its first objective: to find ways and means take steps for resolving the issues concerning public at large including larger issues of peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute and for this purpose organize seminars, conventions, delegate its members to various places within and outside India to become members of other associations, bodies or forums which share common outlook with the associates,” the notices further states. “You are required to explain your position on the subject, since its not in the consonance with the Constitution of India, whereby J&K is an integral part of the country and not a dispute; and also in conflict with the advocates act 1961 which governs the subject vis-à-vis administrative-legal points.”
The notice states that the explanation sought and documents/certificates requisitioned shall be furnished to this office at the earliest.
Speaking to KNO, J&KHCBA’s Election Commissioner Advocate Mudasir said that the notice seems to be a threat to the Bar. “My job is to conduct elections. As far as the notice is concerned, we will deliberate on it tomorrow. There are 2000 lawyers associated with the Bar,” he said.