HCBA extends strike till September 8

HCBA extends strike till September 8

Continues with protests, suspension of work on 4th day

Lawyers across Kashmir continued to boycott their court work for the fourth consecutive day Thursday against the NIA summon to president of High Court Bar Association, advocate MianQayoom.

The lawyers at Srinagar court complex as well as the High Court staged protest under the banner of HCBA.

Qayoom is in New Delhi and was questioned by the National Investigation Agency for the second consecutive day Thursday. At least eight lawyers are accompanying him from Srinagar.

“The questioning started around 10.30 am on Wednesday and continued till 6 pm. Today, it started at 11 am,” said advocate Muhammad Abdullah Pandith, a senior executive member of the Bar association.

He said the association has decided to abstain from court work up to September 8.

“The decision to extend the strike up to September 8 was taken during a general body meeting of the HCBA today. It was unanimously decided that in view of the continuous questioning of president MA Qayoom by the NIA at its Delhi office, all the lawyers will abstain from court work up to September 8,” he said.

He said the HCBA will meet again on September 8 to discuss and chalk out the future strategy.

A spokesperson of HCBA in a statement said that “the (JKHCBA) members expressed their satisfaction over the support and the resentment shown by all the District and Mufassil Bar Associations of Kashmir in solidarity with the Bar President.”

Terming the NIA notice to Qayoom in connection with the alleged funding case as “highly deplorable and condemnable”, a senior member of HCBA, advocate AA Teli, said the notice is aimed at “harassing and demonising” 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.”

Advocate Marouf Khan said that Qayoom “always stood for rights of the people.”

“We feel that since HCBA 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 on striking down of 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,” Khan said.

Meanwhile, reports of suspension of work and protests by lawyers came in from other district courts as well.