Srinagar, December 12 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman of High Court Bar Association, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, has said that judges in the territory have stopped acting independently since the August 2019 clampdown imposed by the Indian government.
Ghulam Nabi Shaheen said this while reacting to the reports that a principal sessions judge in Srinagar has passed an order complaining that a high court judge obstructed him from granting bail to an individual, raising questions over the judiciary’s functioning in IIOJK post-August 05, 2019.
In the order, judge Abdul Rashid Malik recused himself from hearing a plea for anticipatory bail from a Srinagar resident Sheikh Salman, saying Justice Javid Iqbal Wani had directed him, through a phone call by his secretary, not to grant bail to Sheikh.
Ghulam Nabi Shaheen in a media interview in Srinagar said, the judges function at the dictation of unseen forces in IIOJK. He said out of hundreds of habeas corpus petitions, the judges have taken up only a few. “In the past two to three months, you cannot point out a single habeas corpus case that has been heard by any judge. The Indian Supreme Court has been clear that habeas corpus petitions should be disposed of in a week’s time. But that is being violated,” he said.
“The cases are listed after inordinate delays and when they come up for hearing, they are adjourned. Many cases have not even been heard. There are outside, unseen forces (behind) it,” Shaheen added.
Justice Wani is the son-in-law of former HCBA President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, who was among the thousands arrested following the abrogation of special status of IIOJK by Modi government on August 05, last year. He is the lone Kashmiri Muslim to have been elevated from the Bar to the bench during the six years of the Modi govt.