Srinagar DM asks HC bar to clarify if it sees Kashmir as ‘a dispute’

Srinagar DM asks HC bar to clarify if it sees Kashmir as ‘a dispute’

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court Bar Association on Monday received a notice from the Srinagar district magistrate, asking it to “clarify” whether it sees Kashmir “as a dispute or an integral part of the country”.
The communication, which came a day ahead of the bar association’s scheduled internal election, left the office-bearers stumped, sources said. In its reply to the DM, the association said it would “deliberate on the issue tomorrow” and send a formal response.
According to the notice, the administration has taken note of the fact that the bar association’s constitution mentions taking “steps to resolve issues concerning the public, including the larger issue of peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute” as being part of its “primary objective”.
“You are required to explain your position on the subject, since it’s not in 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 of 1961, which governs the subject vis-à-vis administrative legal points,” states the notice received by the president and the election committee of the bar association.
Besides giving an “explanation”, the bar association has been asked to submit certain documents and certificates to the administration.
Senior advocate Mudasir Ahmad, who is the association’s election commissioner, said the notice appeared to be “a threat” to the bar. “My job is to conduct the election. As far as the notice is concerned, we will deliberate on it. There are 2,000 lawyers affiliated to the bar.”

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