Srinagar: A day after District Magistrate Srinagar asked it to explain its position on Kashmir issue, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA) has decided to defer its elections which were earlier scheduled to be held on Tuesday. No new date has been fixed for the polls yet.
“We have decided to defer the elections. New date is yet to be fixed,” Election Commissioner of JKHCBA, Advocate Mudasir, was quoted by Kashmir News Observer (KNO) as saying. “New date will be announced after deliberations.”
The Bar elections were scheduled to be held on Tuesday. However, after the notice by the District Magistrate, a meeting held in Srinagar, it was decided to defer the elections for some time.
Earlier on Monday, a notice was issued to the Bar Association by District Magistrate Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary wherein it was asked to clarify its stand as to whether it sees Kashmir as “a dispute or an integral part of the country.”
The notice read that JKHCBA has reportedly circulated a press note convening elections for its various office bearers at Srinagar on November 10.
“The matter was examined in view of issues related to the subject. The Advocates Act, 1961, defines the details related to required qualifications, admission of advocates on roll, preparation and maintenance of the role, determining issues related to misconduct, safeguarding right, privileges and interests of advocates on roll, promote and support law reforms, constitute fund for financial assistance and legal etc and a host of other measures related to delivery of justice as well as welfare of advocates on roll,” the notice issues to the President JKHCBA and its Election Committee read.
“The JKHCBA Srinagar constitute states the following as its first objective: to find ways and means take steps for resolving the issues concerning public at large including larger issues of peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute and for this purpose, organize seminars, conventions, delegate its members to various places within and outside India to become members of other associations, bodies or forums which share common outlook with the associates,” the notices further stated.
“You are required to explain your position on the subject, since it’s not in the consonance with the Constitution of India, whereby J&K is an integral part of the country and not a dispute; and also in conflict with the Advocates Act 1961 which governs the subject vis-à-vis administrative legal points.”
The notice stated that the explanation sought and documents/certificates requisitioned shall be furnished to this office at the earliest.
Speaking to KNO, JKHCBA’s Election Commissioner, Advocate Mudasir, had said that the notice seems to be a threat to the Bar.
“My job is to conduct elections. As far as the notice is concerned, we will deliberate on it tomorrow. There are 2000 lawyers associated with the Bar,” he said. KNO