Bar to observe strike on December 1; Seeks AFSPA revocation

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Srinagar, Nov 29: At an important meeting here, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association today raised its voice against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state and the government proposal to amend RPC and CrPC to address concerns shown by the Army.
The Valley’s apex body of lawyers decided to observe strike on December 1 to seek withdrawal of the AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to security forces, and pressurize the government to withdraw its proposal to amend RPC and CrPC to incorporate the provisions of the AFSPA.
“All lawyers and District and Mufassil Bar Associations have been asked to cooperate with the decision of the J&K High Court Bar Association to observe protest strike on coming Thursday. The lawyers shall not appear before the courts in protest against the government policy,” a Bar statement said.
It said the meeting deliberated at length on AFSPA, and government’s intention to amend the state laws which has already invited sharp criticism from opposition and legal experts.
The Bar also discussed issues of lawyers quota in Judicial Services and transfer of registration powers to revenue officials.
“The members were unanimous in their opinion that Bar should oppose the Govt. move of transferring registration powers from Judicial officers to revenue authorities because the proposed move will breed corruption and other malpractices which will not be in the interests of general public,” said the statement.
“In judiciary there is securitization of the documents and checks and balance under the doctrine of judicial review and in case the powers are given to the revenue authorities, the registration of the documents will be a good a business in the hands of the revenue officials,” the statement said, adding the Bar will oppose the move.
“The diversion of lawyers’ quota in the higher judicial services to the promotional quota of the in-service judicial officers is contrary to the recruitment rules and constitutional morality,” the statement added.
“The recruitment process should be at par with the normal recruitment process as is being undertaken by the PSC.”
In the meeting it was observed that the ratio of Kashmiris in the judiciary has reduced to 25% and the regional balance in the judiciary is a patent fact.
It was decided that the Bar Association will take all legal, constitutional and other measures to resist the diversion process and the issue will be taken up with the Chief Justice of J&K High Court.
Among others who spoke on the occasion include President Bar M. A. Qayoom, General Secretary G. N. Shaheen, Senior Lawyer Z. A. Shah, Advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga, Advocate Z. A. Qureshi, Advocate Abdul Ahad Rather, Advocate B. A. Sidiq, Advocate Sofiya, Joint Secretary Muhammad Ashraf Wani and Advocate Majid Jahengir.
-GKNN

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