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Why was the lecturer suspended immediately after appearing in the Article 370 case? The Supreme Court questions the Jammu and Kashmir government

The Supreme Court requested the Attorney General of India to look into the suspension of senior Kashmiri lecturer Zaroor Ahmed Bhat from his position by the Administration of Jammu and Kashmir shortly after he presented his argument against the repeal of Article 370 before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Attorney General, kindly use your influence to investigate what occurred. Anyone who shows up at this court is put on suspension. Ask the Lieutenant Governor some questions. If there is any factor outside his presence in this court, then it is different. But notice, how soon after his Appearance before us this Suspension took effect, CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, addressed R. Venkataramani, the head of the judiciary.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, requested the Attorney General to confirm the details of the case in order to determine why action was taken against Bhat so soon after his court appearance. “If it’s because of his appearance that might be vengeance.” The bench questioned: “What happens to so much freedom?” According to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the information in the press reports could not be entirely accurate. He has appeared in a number of courts. We can provide the court with other issues, Mehta added. The bench questioned Mehta, “Why so soon after his testimony before us?” However, Mr. Mehta acknowledged that the “timing was definitely not proper”, When the judges on the Constitution Bench, one after another, voiced their scepticism about the suspiciously swift succession of events.

Senior solicitors Kapil Sibal and Rajiv Dhavan drew Mr Bhat’s situation to the bench’s attention by stating that “this is not the way our democracy functions.”  He shows up in this court, submits written arguments and is suspended the next day. Mr. Sibal said that the Administration might have taken action against him sooner, if there were other issues that led to the suspension. The senior advocate questioned, “Why wait until he appears in the Article 370 matter?”

According to Mr. Sibal, He was removed from the faculty because he argued what he argued in the Article 370 matter. These things shouldn’t happen. The Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, the Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971, and the J&K Leave Rules were all violated by Mr. Bhat, a political science teacher at the Government Higher Secondary School in Srinagar. He was suspended immediately.

In the Supreme Court, he had argued against the repeal of Article 370. On a personal level, he had discussed with the Bench how challenging it has become for people like him to respond to inquiries about the true meaning of democracy and the spirit of the Indian Constitution in the wake of the repeal of Article 370 and the end of the dual relationship of federalism on August 5, 2019.

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra

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