Lawyers across the Kashmir valley on Monday suspended the court work to protest against a notice issued to President Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Qayoom by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Terming the notice to Qayoom as “highly deplorable and condemnable”, a spokesman of the J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar said the issuance of notice to the Bar President is aimed at “harassing and demonizing” the lawyers’ fraternity for “supporting the cause of people of Kashmir and defending the detenues and under-trial prisoners before the High Court and the courts subordinate to it, who been put behind the bars without trial.”
“The Bar Association also feels that since it has taken a stand before the Supreme Court with regard to the use of pellets in Kashmir and is also getting arrayed a party to the petition filed by an NGO before the Supreme Court for striking down Article 35-A of the Constitution of India, therefore, the NIA has issued a notice to the Bar President, so that the cases, which are now pending before the Supreme Court are not prosecuted and defended by the Bar Association,” said the spokesman.
He said that the NIA summon to Qayoom “amounts to interference with the course of justice.”
“The Bar Association has decided to hold a general body meeting tomorrow at 10:30 am at High Court, where the issuance of notice to the Bar President will be discussed and future course of action will be chalked out. In that view of the matter the work in the High court and subordinate courts shall remain suspended for the day, tomorrow.”
“In order to show their solidarity with the Bar President, all the District and Mufassil Bar Associations of the valley have also decided to abstain from court work tomorrow.”