Jammu lawyers to protest against Bar decision

Jammu lawyers have decided to hold peaceful demonstrations against the Jammu Bar Association’s decision to suspend basic membership of two eminent lawyers after they expressed their views in favour of Article 35-A.

Hurt with the way Jammu High Court Bar Association treated senior lawyers, large numbers of advocates assembled in the High Court today and discussed the prevailing situation.

Chairing the meeting, Advocate Jameel Qazmi said that they are ready to resign from the membership en-masse if Jammu Bar did not stop forcing a political agenda on other Bar members which is unconstitutional.

Jammu Bar should revoke the suspension of the two eminent lawyers immediately, otherwise the lawyers will come on roads.

He said that it was necessary to express solidarity with the former Jammu Bar president Adv AV Gupta and former AAG SC Gupta who expressed their personal views in favour of special status, and termed Jammu Bar’s decision as ‘politically motivated.’

“For now, we have decided to hold peaceful demonstrations with placards and black cloths as a mark of protest on August 3rd at the High Court complex at 10:30 AM against the decision of Jammu Bar president and its executive committee,” said Kazmi, while speaking to Greater Kashmir.

The meeting resolved that in case the suspension of the eminent lawyers is not recalled then future course of action will be chalked out including en-masse resignation from the membership of the Bar.

Advocate Kazmi appealed to all the Muffasil and District Bar Associations of Jammu Province to hold peaceful demonstrations for expressing solidarity with two senior members of the Bar tomorrow.

In his presidential remarks, Advocate Jameel Ahmed Kazmi recalled his more than 40 years of association with Jammu Bar and condemned the arbitrary suspension of his two senior colleagues who had expressed their views on the strengthening and retention of Article 35-A of Indian Constitution.

“Nobody in Jammu Bar can thrust his/her political ideology to appease their political bosses for their personal gains as this Bar has remained apolitical since its inception,” he said, adding all the members of Jammu Bar to remain united and not to be misled by a particular ideology being thrusted by those who are at the helm of affairs.

Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Pawan Kundal lambasted the decision of the Bar and opined as to whether Bar has the mandate to regulate the freedom of speech and expression of its members and whether such type of conditions can be imposed on the members of legal fraternity.

Kundal said if such an agenda will be pursued then he does not want to be associated with such an Association.

Adv Ashok Basotra vociferously urged for en-masse resignation in case the arbitrary suspension of the two senior advocates is not recalled. “Bar members will not allow communal agenda to be pursued for political gains by those who are at the helm of affairs of Jammu Bar,” he added.

A young lawyer, Supriya Singh Chouhan, said snatching of fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of members of legal fraternity was not acceptable.

Former Govt Advocate and a prominent Gujjar leader Anwar Chowdhary demanded no confidence motion against the office bearers of Jammu Bar for such an unconstitutional decision of suspending two eminent members of the Bar.

“Jammu Bar is being communalized by a section of members for their political gains,” said Adv Hussain Ahmed Farooqi, while expressing serious concern.