The trend of judges remaining reticent seems to be changing. While Justice (retd) Bashir Amad Kirmani is seen in a number of public gatherings, justice (retd) Bilal A Nazki started blogging, and sometimes his comments creep into the newspapers front pages.
Apart from offering insights into the system of justice, he is commenting on the issues revolving Kashmir.
An AMU law graduate Nazki’s major career break came in 1992 when he was appointed as the Advocate General of the J&K government, then led by the governor. He was kidnapped by militants before being appointed as AG. In January 1995 he was appointed as a judge of the high court in Srinagar, a position he held till October 1997. In the capacity of an advocate general he was defending the actions of the state, especially on the human rights and later becoming the judge he heard similar cases as a judge.
In one of the postings on his blog he has written a brief note over the use of Public Safety Act against Asiya Andrabi, a case late Justice (retd) Sagheer Ahmad heard. After the court quashed her detention twice and the police re-arrested her, the judge finally got Nazki in his chamber only to tell him that if the third quashement of the PSA on her was not implemented by the government he would resign.
As judge, the handling of Jalil Andrabi case earned him a lot of respect. But it was perhaps the same case that led to his transfer.
Nazki served Andhra Pradesh High Court for two terms. He later became its acting chief justice. Then moved to Mumbai and finally retired as the chief justice of the Orissa high court.
At the peak of the a political storm triggered by the death in custody of NC’s fixer Haji Yousf’s, Nazki has been creating news. He was the first to rule out the possibility of J&K government getting a sitting judge. Now when a retired apex court judge is investigating the case, Nazki has framed five questions for which he is seeking answers.
Will his fellow retired judge Justice (retd) Harjit Singh Bedi oblige him by trying to get answers for the five questions: (1) Whether the deceased had received money for himself or somebody else. If it was someone else who is he? (2) If a complaint had been made to CM two months before, why did he sleep over the matter? (3) Why did home minister behave like a head constable and chief minister like a sub inspector? (4) Under what law CM ordered arrest of deceased? (5) Under what law inspector general crime arrested and detained deceased?