Srinagar,February 22,2017 CNS: In pursuance to the Joint Resistance Leadership programme, High Court Bar Association Wednesday staged protest demonstrations here in Srinagar.
Carrying placards and banners, the members of Bar Association demanded the release of detainees and pitched for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
Speaking on the occasion, Bar president Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, stated that there is no rule of law in the State of J&K and the people are arrested and detained and lodged in jails, far away from their homes, with impunity. “There is no consideration for age and sex and even teenagers are not spared,” he said.
He said that though the Judges of the J&K High Court are quashing the orders of detention every day, but those orders are observed in breach and no one is released in pursuance of the orders of the High Court. He said that in 1985 when Bhim Singh, was detained illegally, he filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which not only directed his release, but also asked the Government to pay a compensation of Rs. 50000 to him, for his wrongful detention.
He said that in J&K, people are detained and re-detained without being asked by the courts, as to why they are being arrested and detained repeatedly and are also not directed to pay compensation to them for their wrongful detention. He said that not only the orders of detention are passed arbitrarily and capriciously, but even the orders of extension in the period of detention are passed unilaterally and at the back of the detenue, without he being informed of the same.
He said that when Habeas Corpus Petitions mature for hearing, after considerable period of time and the State Counsel feels that the orders of detention would not survive, he plays a trick with the Court, by producing the order of extension in the period of detention before it, which earlier to that, is neither produced before the Court nor is served on the detenue. He said that even the provisions of Public Safety Act are observed in breach, as sometimes after the order of detention is executed, grounds of detention are given to the detenues without the connected material and sometimes neither grounds nor the material is given to him. If he files any representation against his detention, that is also not considered by the Govt. He is also not produced before the Advisory Board for a hearing, which is a right guaranteed to him by law. He said that in the past, when anyone was detained under Public Safety Act, he would be produced before the advisory board headed by the Chief Justice of High Court, but now neither the detenue knows as to who is the head of the advisory board nor is he produced before such Board for a hearing. He said that in 2010 and 2011 he was detained thrice under PSA, but at no point of time was he produced before the advisory board. He said that when such a treatment is meted out to a lawyer, one can easily understand as to what treatment would is being given to a common Kashmiri.
He said that it was in the year 2010 that the High Court declared SAS Geelani a free man. The said order of the High Court was not challenged by the Govt. before any higher forum and it accordingly became final and binding on the State authorities. However, SAS Geelani continues under house arrest from 2010 and other than his family members, no one is allowed to meet him. He said that a lawyer is entitled to meet his client, whenever, he wants to do so, but in the case of SAS Geelani it has been given a go-bye, as he is not allowed to meet his counsel as well, which tent amounts to the denying legal assistance to him. He said that Masrat Alam was detained under PSA 33 times for the last 27 years and all his detention orders were been quashed by the High Court, but even then he has not been released.
He said that after his dentition orders were quashed by the High Court, he was booked in one or the other flimsy case, making his release impossible. He said that only recently he was bailed out by a Court at Srinagar, but was taken to Sumbal, only to be implicated in a false and frivolous case, over there. He applied for bail and a court at Bandipora directed his release on bail, yesterday. The State Government instead of honoring the order of the Court filed a Revision Petition against the said order before the Sessions Judge, who stayed the bail order, without providing an opportunity of being heard to the accused.
He also stated that the State or the Central Government authorities didn’t produce the report of the committee constituted by the Govt. of India for providing an alternative to the pellets and though the High Court had called for the report, the same was not produced before it and without examining the report the High Court declined the relief of stopping the use of pellets in the PIL filed by the Bar Association. He said that when the matter was taken to the Supreme Court by the Bar Association, the Supreme Court on the very first hearing, directed the Central Govt. to produce the report of the committee before it, but instead of producing the record before the Supreme Court and giving a copy to the Bar Association, the Central Govt. filed an application claiming privilege for not producing the report of the committee before it. He said that the Central Govt. has claimed privilege for not producing the report before the Supreme Court only because it doesnot want to get exposed. He said that pellets are not used anywhere in the World on human beings, they are meant to scare away animals and for hunting birds. He said that there is rule of police in the State of J&K and all those who are at the helm of affairs are mere stooges who have no power or authority with them. He said that Mohammad Afzal Guru was at serial no. 27 in the list of accused had been awarded death sentence. However, he was pitchforked and hanged ahead of 26 others, who were before him in the list.
He also referred to an article of Aijaz-ul-Haq published in Greater Kashmir to support his assertion that there is nothing in the hands of those who claim that they have the power and authority. He said that lawyers are an important component of the Civil Society and they have a responsibility of bringing the true facts to the notice of the people of the World. He said that the lawyers should not only use their tongue, but they should use their pen in exposing the Indian brutalities in Kashmir. (CNS)