Bar writes to CJI on NIA raids, questioning of Qayoom
The lawyers have decided to stay away from courts in the Valley on Friday while the High Court Bar Association has written a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) on the NIA raids in the Valley.
A general body meeting of High Court Bar Association was held at High Court premises today. In the meeting, it was unanimously decided that in view of continuous questioning of President Bar Association Mian Qayoom by NIA all the lawyers would abstain from court work tomorrow (Friday).
The members expressed their satisfaction over support and resentment shown by all the district and Mufassil Bar Associations of the valley over questioning of Bar President by NIA.
In the meeting, the members also decided to hold another meet on Friday it was decided that the strike shall continue tomorrow as well.
Accordingly, all the members of the Bar Association as well as all the District and Mufassil Bar Associations of the valley are requested to support the strike call and abstain from court on September 8.
Meanwhile, J&K High Court Bar Association has written a letter to Chief Justice of India.
In the letter, the Bar Association has said that its president Mian Qayoom does not own directly, indirectly or otherwise any property in the areas of Jammu, Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Zakura, Lal Bazar, Lasjan, Pantha Chowk, shopping complex at an unknown place, as is being publicly stated on the social networking sites.
“With more than four decades of lucrative practice at his back, it is impossible to think that he cannot own even a house or a land or some property. Qayoom is regular Income Tax payer. Being a God-fearing person he does not contaminate his honest earnings with any kind of bad money. His children are educated and have independent sources of income. Virtually the entire family lives together and is in the same vicinity,” it reads.
It further reads that it is important to bring to your notice reason of High Court Bar Association going on strike.
“The Bar Association president Mian Qayoom has been summoned by NIA in connection with RC No: 10/2017/NIA/DLI. Apparently, he has been summoned as a witness but we have reason to believe that there is more than what meets the eye. We say so because notice has been issued under Section 160 Cr.P.C., Proviso whereof requires NIA to record the statement of a witness at his place of residence if he/she is less than 15 or more than 65 years of age. Qayoom is more than 65 years of age and he could have very easily taken the benefit of the said proviso. Instead, he has volunteered himself to appear before the NIA along with 8 members of J&K High Court Bar Association at New Delhi as he has nothing to hide,” the letter reads.
The NIA has arrested several persons and summoned scores of people in connection with the investigation.
“Mian Qayoom represents the voice of people and has been fairly active in pleading their cases in conferences, seminars, courts etc. More recent are the cases pending before Supreme Court like ban on use of pellet guns. The cases of detenues, who have been jailed in contravention of law for last several years, are also being argued by him before the J&K High Court,” it states.
The letter states that for some time now, a new policy has formed of involving men of consequence in criminal cases to prevent them from pleading the cause of the people.
“People are first summoned as witnesses and thereafter by sheer manipulation of the material, gathered during investigation, arrayed as accused and jailed, for years together even in some cases without trial. Though as legal practitioners we are told that an accused is innocent till proved guilty, but it is also a part of malicious campaign that media is fed with false information so as to give wide publicity projecting an innocent person in dark light. The design to malign respectable people is betrayed by the false information given on social media and on the network of some paid TV Channels, where false propaganda is made about the property owned and possessed by an established lawyer. This is a situation, when only notice to appear as a witness has been issued, that the media is asked to malign person to the maximum possibility so as to prejudice the mind of the public against the individual,” it adds.