More than 12 of the 22 additional advocate generals and law officers that have been appointed by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in Jammu and Kashmir are relatives of either ministers or ruling PDP leaders or in the least, of retired judges, bureaucrats and even separatist leaders.
In addition, over 300 per cent increase has also been announced in the remuneration of all these officers besides increasing their other perks. Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basharat Bukhari, when asked, refused to comment and J&K Advocate General Jehangir Ganai said that he knew nothing of the matter.
Here’s a list of the officers and their “politician” relatives, as mentioned in The Indian Express.
Mehraj Ud Din Bhat– The additional advocate general dealing mostly with cases of departments of Social Welfare, Urban Engineering and Environment, Hospitality and Protocol is the son of PDP’s general secretary and ex-MLA Nizam-ud-din Bhat.
Shahbaz Sikandar – Deputy Advocate General is the cousin of Animal Husbandry and Science and Technology Minister Sajad Lone and is also representing the government in departments headed by his cousin Lone.
Nisar Hussain Shah– Shah is a relative of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basharat Bukhari and has been appointed additional advocate general. Shah is appearing for cases of Vigilance, Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation departments besides the State Board of School Education and Service Selection Board.
Shah Amir- Appointed deputy advocate general, Amir is senior PDP leader and former minister Dilawar Mir’s relative. Amir represents Health and Family Welfare and SIDCO departments.
Shahvar Gowhar– Gowhar who is an additional advocate general, pursues cases of Tourism departments and development authorities. He is son of a retired sessions judge, Ghulam Nabi Gowhar.
Shabir Ahmad Naik – Naik represents School Education and Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution departments as an additional advocate general. His father-in-law A Q Parray is a former chief justice and his father Ghulam Hassan was a senior Congress leader and close associate of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Irfan Andleeb– Brother-in-law of former J&K advocate general Altaf Naik, Andleeb is a deputy advocate general looking after cases of Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Departments.
Owais Geelani– Geelani is a government advocate and handles the cases of State Forest corporation and Industries. He is a close associate of Bukhari and is also a nephew of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s wife.
Bashir Ahmad Dar – Additional advocate general, Bashir Ahmad Dar is separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Dar’s brother and also a close associate of PDP MP Muzaffar Hussain Beig.
Nazir Ahmad Baba, Ghulam Mohidin Reshi, Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh, Javid Sathu and Sued Shuja are among those with political links.
J&K advocate general Ishaq Qadri said that this is misuse of tax payer’s money. “Many of the new officers have never pleaded a case in the high court and don’t possess proper legal knowledge to deal with high-profile cases,” he added.