J&K High Court quashes govt order to seal two seminaries in Kishtwar

The Court found that the sealing order was issued without a proper enquiry or sufficient evidence supporting the allegations made against them
 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar, July 31: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh recently delivered a significant verdict by quashing an order issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Kishtwar to seal two seminaries (Madarasa).

The Court found that the sealing order was issued without a proper enquiry or sufficient evidence supporting the allegations made against them. The case titled "Raj Ali and others Vs Union of India and others" was presided over by Justice Sanjeev Kumar, reported Bar and Bench.

The court's decision came after it was brought to light that the decision to seal the two seminaries was taken without granting the management an opportunity to present their side of the case, thus violating the principles of natural justice.

The ADC's order had linked the sealed Madarsas to the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust, Bathindi, which was previously deemed anti-national and anti-social by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, on June 14, 2023.

However, it was later clarified that the two seminaries in question had no connection to this particular Trust. The Court noted that the sealing order was passed without conducting a fair hearing or initiating any enquiry into the matter.

As a result, the Court opined that the ADC's application of the Divisional Commissioner's order to close down or take over these seminaries was not justified unless there was substantial proof of their association with the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust.

Consequently, the Court quashed the sealing order pertaining to the two seminaries, emphasizing that the Divisional Commissioner's order from June 14, 2023, should solely apply to the seminaries operated by the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust in Bathindi and should not be universally applied to all legitimate seminaries in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the Court clarified that if any seminary are found to be operating in violation of the law, authorities are free to take appropriate action after conducting a thorough inquiry or investigation. Nevertheless, the Court reiterated that no adverse orders against the interests of the petitioners should be passed without granting them proper notice and an adequate opportunity for a fair hearing.

Senior advocate Gagan Basotra, along with advocates Sahil Gupta and Nadeem Bhat, represented the individuals running the seminaries, while Senior Additional Advocate General Monika Kohli appeared on behalf of the Central government and other authorities involved in the case.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir