BAJ members protest suspension of eminent lawyers

Jammu: Expressing anguish against the decision of the Executive body of Jammu Bar Association with regard to the suspension of two eminent Members of the Bar who favours retaining of Article 35 A, large number of members of BAJ today held a silent and peaceful protest at High Court Complex, Janipur.

They vehemently  protest the suspension of two eminent Members of the Bar which includes Senior Advocate and Former Bar President A.V. Gupta and Former Senior AAG S.C. Gupta over their stance of strengthening and retention of Article 35-A.

Several Advocates under the Chairmanship of Advocate Jameel Ahmed Kazmi Former Vice-President of Jammu Bar and Former AAG assembled with their mouths covered with black strips symbolizing assault on their freedom of speech and expression and with the placards in their hands demanding immediate revocation of the suspension of two eminent lawyers who had expressed their personal views on the strengthening and retention of Article 35-A.
Before holding the silent and peaceful protest, the members of the Bar assembled in Justice Vinod Gupta Bar Hall at High Court Complex, Jammu and held a meeting for expressing solidarity with two senior members of the Bar who were suspended for expressing their personal views on Article 35-A.
Advocate H.C. Jalmeria while speaking on the occasion cautioned all the Bar members not to indulge in politicizing the Bar as these issues must be left for the political parties. He further stated that divisive issues will lead only to divide in the Bar and Bar should only take up the issues pertaining to the welfare of the legal fraternity. Advocate Jalmeria demanded immediate revocation of suspension of the two senior members and snubbed the curtailment of freedom of speech and expression of Bar members.
Advocate Ashok Basotra stated that the two lawyers were suspended for their views on a constitutional matter and the Bar is functus officio on this issue as the voice of the members can’t be gagged merely for their dissenting views and the dictatorial order of the Executive should be taken back immediately.
Advocate Anil John stated that there is no dictatorship in this country and 35-A being part of Indian Constitution can be deliberated upon by any member of the Bar and the members can have their personal views.
Advocates Zahida Parveen, Shabnam Mir and Fozia Shamim also expressed their full solidarity with the two senior lawyers and demanded revocation of their suspension immediately.
Advocates Rouf Lone, Zahid Sarfaraz Malik, Masood Chowdhary and Zulkernain Sheikh also spoke on the occasion and expressed their views for strengthening and retention of Article 35-A and also condemned the decision of the Executive to suspend two senior members from primary membership of the Bar. The said lawyers were unanimous in demanding the revocation of suspension of the two lawyers.
Others who were present in the meeting include Advocates Rajinder Chinyal (Former PP), Sawtanter Arora, M.A. Shah, Javaid Iqbal Sohil, Nadeem Khan, Qayoom Chowdhary, T.M. Khan, Mohd. Tabassum Amin Khan, Irfaan Mohd. Khan, Hilal Ahmed Wani, Asif Iqbal, Sheikh Najeeb Ashraf, Mohd. Zulkarnain Chowdhary, Shahzad Mir, Fareha Wani, Saqib Hussain Bhat, Ashfaq Beg, Yasser Nizami, Nissar Gatoo, Zaheer Kamlak, Ayaz Khan, Intakhab Ahmed Qazi and Supriya Singh Chouhan.
In his concluding remarks Advocate J.A. Kazmi thanked all sane voices in Jammu Bar for showing solidarity with two senior Members who were suspended for airing their personal views on Article 35-A. Advocate Kazmi further stated that Jammu Bar belongs to all and no particular political ideology can be allowed to flourish in the Bar. He further stated that a lawyer has no religion and it is very painful and shocking that voice of two eminent lawyers was snubbed with a dictatorial declaration by the Executive of the Bar. With the unanimous views of all the Members present in the meeting it was decided to give three days time to the Bar to recall the suspension of the two eminent lawyers and in default a signature campaign will be launched in the entire Jammu Province of legal fraternity to express solidarity with the two senior members of the Bar and to ensure revocation of their suspension.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed conducted the proceedings of the meeting.

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