PRESS RELEASE In response to the one day protest strike call for Monday the 19th of December 2011 given by the J&K High Court Bar Association
In response to the one day protest strike call for Monday the 19th of December 2011 given by the J&K High Court Bar Association interms of its decision dated 17.12.2011, the lawyers suspended their work across the Kashmir valley and in Jammu region in all courts including the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and work remained suspended in all the courts today on 19.12.2011 for the demand of continuation of the registration powers of the legal documents with the civil courts and against the Govt. move to transfer the registration powers from civil courts to revenue authorities. The response to the call is absolute and complete shut down was observed in all the courts of State of J&K by the lawyers, petition writers, stamp vendors on this day and work remained suspended before the courts across the valley and members of the J&K High Court Bar Association and other district and Mufassil Bar Associations abiding by the decision of the JK HCBA abstained from appearing before the courts in protest observed today on the 19th of December 2011 in furtherance of the 1st phase of future course of action undertaken by the lawyers on the issue.
The Bar Association hails the response of the lawyers, petition writers, stamp vendors and other people affiliated to the judiciary and the Bar Association reiterates its demand to continue the registration powers with the civil courts and calls upon the Govt. to desist from transferring registration powers from civil courts to the revenue authorities. The members of the JK HCBA express deep concern on the designs of the State Govt. in transferring the registration powers to revenue authorities which action is aimed at protecting and provide a shield to land mafia in Jammu and Kashmir to which certain bureaucrats, politicians and sitting ministers in the cabinet are a party. It has come to the knowledge of the Bar Association that certain bureaucrats and sitting ministers besides a group of politicians are involved in huge purchase of land estate in different parts of the J&K and in order to conceal these land dealings the vested interest instead facing the scrutinisation of the documents by the judiciary are playing a game plan to vest revenue authorities with registration powers, who act at the whim and caprice of these bureaucrats and sitting ministers. It has come to the knowledge of the Bar Association that three excise inspectors from finance department have been declared as registration authorities by the concerned ministry and who are reportedly to have attested a few documents. This matter is of serious nature and needs a thorough investigation.
Besides promoting culture of impunity and promoting a corrupt industry the Govt. proposal is also politically motivated as the non-state subjects are being settled in J&K and land is transferred to them through Benami transactions. To continue this illegal and unlawful process the proposal of the transfer of registration powers is pursued. In Jammu region the lawyers, intellectuals and members of civil society are conscious of this fact therefore, they have risen to the occasion. The Bar Association hails this realization of the people of Jammu especially on this issue. It is pertinent to mention here the public opinion in Kashmir valley is on record on the serious and sensitive issue. Since there is general public opinion that the powers of registration should vest with the civil courts and the powers of the judiciary shall not be disturbed in this regard and Govt. should desist from acting against the public opinion. In case the powers of transfer to the revenue authorities it will have not only adverse public impact but it will also denigrate the honour and respect of the judiciary. It is a known fact that in Jammu and Kashmir there is administrative and political break down and judiciary is the only institution of respect and integrity in the eyes of general public and the vested interest should not crumble this institution also with which the public at large has still hope and expectation attached with it.