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PRESS RELEASE In order to maintain the discipline in the Bar Association and also to strengthen unity amongst its members

In order to maintain the discipline in the Bar Association and also to strengthen unity amongst its members, show cause notices were issued to four of the lawyers who violated the Bar decision dated 06.02.2012 by causing their appearance in the High court on 07.02.2012. Instead of showing their remorse, two of the lawyers namely Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Wani and Mr. Babar Jan Qadri, after submitting the reply to the show cause notices went to the press and got their reply published in a news paper namely Rising Kashmir dated 10.02.2012. Today two lawyers namely Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ronga who happens to be the Ex-President of the Bar Association and Mr. Babar Qadri have gone to the press enclave and have given a press conference in which they have raised the following points :
a. That the Joint Secretary Mohammad Ashraf Wani was not a party to the decision of suspending the work on 07.02.2012;
b. That habeas corpus petitions were exempted from the rigor of suspension of work on that day;
c. That the show cause notices were got published in print media to defame and malign them;
d. That no action was taken against other lawyers including Mr. Nisar Ahmad Bhat Advocate, who too had appeared in the High Court on 07.02.2012;
Since the statement made by these lawyers in their reply to the show cause notice and also what was stated by them in the press conference is fallacious, therefore, the Bar Association wants to clarify its position which is as under:
1. That though interms of clause 16(5) of Bar Constitution, the Bar President has the full authority to take any decision with or without the consultation of office bearers or the Executive committee of the Bar Association, yet the decision to suspend the work on 07.02.2012 was taken by the President in consultation with the Vice-President Bashir Ahmad Dar and General Secretary G. N. Shaheen on 06.02.2012 and it was given wide publicity through media and otherwise and it was therefore, known to everyone including Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Wani Joint Secretary and others by the morning of 07.02.2012, that the work in the courts shall remain suspended for the day;
2. That the habeas-corpus petitions were not exempted from the rigor of notice dated 06.02.2012 because the suspension of work on 07.02.2012 was aimed at to show solidarity and sympathy with those who are languishing in jails and despite court orders were not released and in order to make their release impossible, they had been shifted and were being shifted to different jails outside the valley. On the morning of 07.02.2012 Mr. Bashir Ahmad Dar had requested the aforesaid four lawyers, when they tried to cause their appearance before the court in habeas-corpus matters, to suspend their work but one of them namely Mohammad Ashraf Wani told him that he has been permitted by the President to do so. Mr. Bashir Ahmad Dar thereafter talked to me on phone and when I informed him that I have not permitted any lawyer to appear in any habeas corpus matter on 07.02.2012, he brought the said fact to the notice of Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Wani and others and again requested them to abstain from appearing before the courts on 07.02.2012, but they refused to listen to him.
3. That the show cause notices were dictated by me to Mr. Hashim, the Bar steno on 08.02.2012 and thereafter, same were signed by me in his presence. I however, told Mr. Hashim to handover the show cause notices to the concerned advocates personally and obtain their signatures on a Photostat copy thereof. I heard it on 09.02.2012 that instead of handing over the show cause notices himself to the concerned advocates, he had asked Abdul Gaffar, Bar peon to do so. I had not retained any copy of the show cause notice after I signed the same, with me. I did not also talk to any media person thereafter directly or indirectly or else overtly or covertly about the show cause notices. I was no doubt told by Mr. Baber Qadri on 08.02.2012 in the evening that the show cause notices have reached the press but he attributed the same to Mr. Bashir Ahmad Dar vice President and dropped the phone by saying, that he will teach him a lesson, not inside the court but outside. I, of course told him that he has himself contributed to the landing of the show cause notices in the press, and had he not caused his appearance in the court on 07.02.2012 the matter would have not reached to the press. No help was sought by Mr. Qadri from me for stopping the publication of the show cause notice in any news paper. He did not also tell me as to in which news paper the show cause notices were going to be published. I also enquired from Mr. Bashir Ahmad Dar on the next day as to whether, he has played any role in the publication of the notices in the news papers but he denied the same. The question of maligning of Mr. Babar Qadri or anybody else by publishing the show cause notices in the press is, therefore, a figment of imagination and nothing else because the Bar Association has not issued any press statement on that day otherwise also no media person was informed by the Bar about the matter.
4. That in so far as appearing of Mr. Nisar Ahamd Bhat and others, besides the aforesaid four lawyers, on 07.02.2012 in the High Court is concerned, I came to know about the appearance of Nisar Ahmad Bhat Advocate in the High court on 09.02.2012 at 6:00 p.m. through Bashir Sidiq advocate. I immediately got a show cause notice addressed to him and asked one of my nephews to drop the same at his residence against proper receipt. I called Mr. Hashim on 10.02.2012 to my residence and told him to upload the show cause notice on his laptop which he did in my presence. I am now waiting for the response of Mr. Nisar Ahmad Bhat who at one point of time was my junior but is now doing his practice independently. Anything done by Mr. Nisar Ahmad Bhat Advocate in his individual capacity has nothing to do with me. As and when he submits his reply, further action will be taken in the matter accordingly. I was not told by any lawyer including Mr. Ronga and Mr. Qadri that besides them some twenty lawyers have appeared in the High court on 07.02.2012. Had they informed me about the same I would have taken appropriate action against them also. Instead of going to press, it was appropriate for Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ronga and Mr. Babar to tell me as to who else had appeared on 07.02.2012 in the High Court. Mr. Babar Qadri has submitted his reply to hthe show cause notice and in that also he has not stated as to who else other than the aforesaid four persons has appeared in the court on 07.02.2012. since neither Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ronga nor Mr. Babar Qadri has told me about the appearance of any other lawyer in the court on 07.02.2012 therefore, their contention that they alone have been singled out doesnot carry any weight. If any other lawyer had appeared in the high court on 07.02.2012 they should have informed to the Bar association in writing. Since they have not done so, one can well understand their game plan.
5. That the show cause notices were issued to the aforesaid four lawyers only to maintain the unity and discipline in the Bar. Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ronga being the Ex-President of the Bar Association, should have obeyed the directive in letter and spirit. It does not behoove an Ex-President to say that he will not abide by the decision of the Bar Association when it comes to the causing of appearance in the High Court in a habeas corpus matter. People come and go but the one important thing which goes leave behind is their legacy. If they are honest, upright and truthful people will follow the same. Dissention and split in the Bar will take no one to his destination.
6. That though M/s Mohammad Ashraf Wani, Baber Qadri, and Majid Bashir have submitted their reply to the show cause notices, but before allowing the Bar Association to take a decision in the matter, two of them having gone to the press and having got their replies published in which one of them has even questioned the authority of the Bar Association to issue the suspension notice without his consultation, (see Rising Kashmir dated 10.02.2012), and two more having given a press conference, in which baseless allegations have been leveled against the Bar, therefore, it has become necessary for the Bar to issue this press statement so that the people come to know about the truth. The Bar Association does not want that it should get divided. Bar has always tried to maintain unity amongst its members. However, if somebody wants to damage the unity by making ruthless statements, he shall be deemed to have done so at his own peril.
7. The matter will be put up before the Executive Committee of the Bar Association for necessary orders, immediately after the period of one week is over.