Jammu HC Bar Association members to hold peaceful Demo against Suspension of 2 lawyers today

Jammu: The controversial decision of the J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu has invited sharp criticism from its members and the lawyers cutting across party lines have condemned the decision of suspending two eminent members of the Bar 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 in the Indian Constitution.
In an emergent meeting in the High Court Complex Jammu, the members of Jammu Bar under the chairmanship of Jameel Ahmed Kazmi Former Vice President of Jammu Bar and Former AAG on Saturday unanimously decided to hold a peaceful demonstration tomorrow i.e. 3rd August, 2019 in the High Court Complex at 10:30 AM to express solidarity with two senior members of the Bar who had expressed their personal views regarding the retention and strengthening of Article 35-A. In the meeting, it was further resolved that in case the suspension of the eminent lawyers will not be recalled then future course of action will be chalked out including en-masse resignation from the membership of the Bar. Advocate Kazmi further appealed to all the Muffasil/District Bar Associations of Jammu Province to hold peaceful demonstrations for expressing solidarity with two Senior Members of the Bar tomorrow at 10:30 AM.
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. Advocate Kazmi further stated that 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. Advocate Kazmi expressed gratitude to the sane voices in Jammu Bar who have stood against the unconstitutional and politically motivated decision of the Jammu Bar. Advocate Kazmi appealed to 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.
Former Govt. Advocate and a senior member of the Bar Hafiz-ul-Rehman castigated the decision of the Bar and stated that Jammu Bar has always maintained its secular ethos and the decision of suspending two senior members is a political appeasement and needs immediate revocation.
Advocate Ashok Basotra vociferously urged for en-masse resignation in case the arbitrary suspension of the two senior Advocates is not recalled. He further stated that 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.
Advocate Pawan Kundal (Ambedkar Activist) while lambasting the decision of the Bar 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 and he further stated that if such an agenda will be pursued then he does not want to be associated with such an Association.
Advocate Supriya Singh Chouhan in her remarks lamented the snatching of fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of members of legal fraternity who guarantees the rights to the common people “Aam Awaam” being the social Engineers of the Society. Taking away of such freedom of speech and expression of lawyers is highly condemnable and censured.
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. Advocate Chowdhary also demanded convening of a General House Meeting of Jammu Bar so that the whole issue is thrashed as the issue concerns more than 3000 members of the Bar belonging to various social/political thoughts/ideologies and the decision of suspending 2 senior members is highly condemnable and needs immediate reversal. He further stated that action was taken against two senior members to appease a political ideology being pursued by a political party for dividing the Jammu Bar.
Advocate N.D. Qazi dubbed the decision of Jammu Bar as unconstitutional and violative of constitutional ethos and expressed complete solidarity with two senior members of the Bar.
Advocate Javaid Iqbal Sohil stated that Jammu Bar is not aligned to a particular ideology and no Bar member can be stopped from expressing his/her views on constitutional matters with special reference to the special status enjoyed by the State of J&K under Indian Constitution.
Advocate Amir Awan strongly espoused the secular ethos of Jammu Bar and remarked that Bar will not allow any particular agenda to be followed by a politically motivated section for their political gains.
Advocate Farhan Mirza said that he is shocked over the illegal decision taken by executive of the Bar and suggested en-masse resignation by the Bar members. He further stated that there was no quorum of the executive as there were only 7 to 10 members present and arbitrarily two senior members were suspended.
Advocate Hussain Ahmed Farooqi expressed serious concern over the communalization of Jammu Bar by a section of members for their political gains and condemned the suspension of two senior members.
Advocate Fozia Shamim termed the decision of Bar dictatorial and assault on freedom of speech and expression.
Advocate Sheikh Ayaz Hussain also expressed solidarity with two senior members of the Bar and demanded its immediate revocation.
Advocate Ajaz Chowadhary stated that both the lawyers have immense contribution in the legal profession and to Jammu Bar and treatment meted out to them is unconstitutional/undemocratic and is actuated with oblique motive.
Advocate Aftab Malik branded the suspension of lawyers as unconstitutional and sought immediate convening of a general house meeting to discuss the prevailing situation and in default he pressed for en-masse resignation.
Advocate Rouf Lone stated that right to speech cannot be curtailed in any manner and he advocated for a peaceful demonstration to protest against the suspension of two eminent lawyers.
Advocate Tariq Wani supplemented the views of Advocate Anwar Chowdhary and demanded no confidence motion against the office bearers of Jammu Bar.
Advocate Mohd. Tabasam Amin Khan while assailing the decision of Jammu Bar demanded immediate recall of the suspension of the two lawyers and in default he pressed for convening a general house meeting of the Bar.
Others who were present in the meeting include Advocates Mohd. Aslam Bhat, M.A. Shah, Qayoom Chowdhary, Irfaan Mohd. Khan, Hilal Ahmed Wani, Asif Iqbal, Sheikh Najeeb Ashraf and Mohd. Zulkarnain Chowdhary. Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed conducted the proceedings of the meeting.

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