SRINAGAR — For the first ever, Kashmir High Court Bar Association was disallowed to hold a seminar at at District Court complex Mominabad, Batamaloo here to commemorate the 23rd anniversary advocate Jalil-ul-Qadar Andrabi, who was kidnapped by Army while on his way home from High Court on 8 March 1996 and was killed in custody. Andrabi’s body was fished out from river Jhelum on 27 March, 1996. The lawyers’ had decided to abstain from court work on Saturday in his honour and also as to enable the members of the Bar Association to participate in a seminar at District Court complex Mominabad, Batamaloo, Srinagar on the topic: “The Right of Self Determination and Indian Repression in Kashmir”.
Accordingly a notice was issued by the Secretary of the Bar Association, requesting all the members of the Bar Association to participate in the seminar and also suspend their work for the day.
While forwarding a copy of the notice to Registrar Judicial, High Court of J&K, Srinagar and Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, the Judges of the Sub-ordinate courts were requested not to pass any adverse orders in any case listed on the day because of the pre-occupation of the lawyers with the programme.
“Instead of conceding the request of the Bar Association, Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar in terms of his letter No. 8227/PDJS/Adm/19 dated 29-03-2019, has informed the Bar Association that the seminar proposed to be held tomorrow at 10.30 A.M. at Saddar Court premises Mominabad, Batamaloo, Srinagar cannot be permitted inside the District Court Complex under law,” reads a statement issued here.
The elected office bearers of the Bar Association enquired from Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar as to why the seminar cannot be held inside the District Court Complex and which law does not permit the Bar Association to organize the seminar even in the space allotted to the Bar Association and Lawyers, the statement said.
“He however had no answer except that the topic chosen by the Bar Association is the reason for not permitting the Bar Association to hold the seminar. He told the Bar Association to change the topic and only thereafter go ahead with the programme.”
The Bar members however refused to do so and told the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar that they will better postpone the seminar rather than to change the topic and accordingly left his room, the statement said.
“Later in an emergency executive committee meeting of the Bar Association, it was unanimously decided to postpone the holding of seminar on 30 March and to reschedule the same on a date to be decided in future,” the statement said, adding, “The Bar members are also critical of the attitude and approach of Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar in preventing the Bar Association from holding the seminar in District court complex, Srinagar. It was also stated that Abdul Rashid Malik has played more loyal than the king and has unreasonably and irrationally stopped the Bar Association from holding the seminar in the District Court Complex when in the past such seminars have been held by the Bar Association both in the High Court and subordinate court complexes without any objection from any quarter, in recognition and acknowledgement of the right of members of the Bar Association to express themselves on any issue concerning the people of Kashmir.”
The lawyers’ body has been observing the anniversary of Advocate Jalil-ul-Qadar Andrabi and about a dozen other lawyers, who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of “freedom of Kashmir from 1996 onwards and it is only this year that the Principal District and sessions Judge, Srinagar has unnecessarily stopped the Bar Association from organizing the seminar which of course tantamount to the denial of freedom of speech, expression and assembly, which is highly deplorable.” The lawyers’ body has concerned general body meeting of its members tomorrow in Lawyers common room at 2.00 PM at District Court Complex, Moominabad, Batamaloo, Srinagar “where the matter will be discussed further.”